Perfect Strangers

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Perfect Strangers (ItalianPerfetti sconosciuti) is a 2016 Italian comedy-drama film directed by Paolo Genovese.

Seven long-time friends (three married couples and a divorcee) are having a dinner.They meet at one of the friend’s home on the day of a lunar eclipse.

They decide, as a playful game, to put each one’s mobile phone on the table and reveal every text message or phone call they would receive that evening, to prove that nobody has anything to hide.

Hilarity and drama ensue together as everyone’s secrets are unveiled and the seven friends find themselves perfect strangers to each other.

Having stumbled upon this one by accident, I decided to give it a try

The plot which is confined to a singular apartment however, spills over beautifully while in motion

So, let’s figure out what works?

  • Paolo Genovese has created a Gem of a movie from a well knit screenplay
  • The characters of his screen play are relatable and flawed right from the word GO
  • Their day to day lives are woven in as a matter of fact easing their way to Dinner Table Conversations
  • The reason why you remain hooked to the proceedings on screen is because of the Hook
  • Firstly, Genovese creates a setup to a concept
  • He then infuses a hook to the What If relevant to this story
  • This HOOK, and I am not kidding, is what keeps you glued
  • It feels almost like a dish on slow burn ,threatening to simmer and boil over

Every time a message, call or notification arrives we are awaiting eagerly:

WILL IT BOIL OVER?

  • This is the precise reason why Perfect Strangers needed such deft performances
  • Hence, you aren’t disappointed when the actors deliver and HOW!
  • The performances are subtle, surreal and exquisite
  • Each and every actor wear the skin of the characters living them out with ease
  • They move a step ahead and create a moment out of every HOOK
  • This is that exact moment where truths, lies and deceptions get unveiled
  • Both Intentional and Unintentional
  • While the premise trundles slowly towards a finale Genovese hits home a stark realization
  • No matter the lives we live, our technology has created personas, lives distinct and disparate
  • These are what have led to Deceptions, Betrayals, Lies, Masks and Facades

What doesn’t work?

  • There is not much I could complain of here in this narrative
  • The only flaw I could oversee is the lack of an aftermath after all damage is done

However, this flaw is over turned when you arrive at the climax

The last few moments are A TRULY WONDERFUL DISPLAY of WHAT IF

AND

THE CONTINUITY OF LIFE: NO MATTER WHAT, IT GOES ON!

It is a almost a Bitter Sweet Ending that you will relish once it hits home

For me it took a few minutes to register the climax to savor this taste, but the After taste still lingers!

P.S: The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the David di Donatello in the Best Film Category and grossing more than €16 million in Italy. It has been remade in many countries including Spain, Mexico, South Korea, Israel, France, Hungary, China and Russia.

Watch these Perfect Strangers play out their Imperfect Lives on screen as soon as you can

Perfect Strangers

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