It’s always magical when you discover an absolute gem of a film, and The Turning Point — a touching but ultimately tragic buddy film — is a fine example.
This review of the Netflix film The Turning Point does not contain spoilers.
When he rips off a local mob boss, Jack (Andrea Lattanzi) takes refuge inside a nearby apartment complex with resident Ludovico (Brando Pacitto) as his hostage. With Jack unable to leave without a solid exit plan, the two are forced to tolerate each other in the hope that they may both make it out of the bizarre situation alive, only to find that a wonderful friendship blossoms between them.
My expectations of Netflix originals have come to be middling to low of late. It’s not that they’re bad films, just that they don’t seem to pack much in the way of surprises or impact. Dare I say The Turning Point might be exactly that, in both name and nature? It was funny, engaging, and in all honesty, had me in the palm of its hand for much of its very tidy 90-minute runtime.
Lovely to see unfold throughout the duration was the friendship between Jack and Ludovico, watching the pair bring each other around to a different perspective on life, which in both cases was that they didn’t have to be all alone. They became more like brothers, with Jack watching out for Ludovico and making sure that chances in life didn’t pass him by because he was too afraid to grab them for himself. Similarly, in being the kind of person Jack had to take under his wing, Ludovico brought out a softer, more caring side in him, which was a nice contrast to his brutish outward appearance.
Speaking of contrast, the mafia element brought a harshness that really offset the more pally elements of The Turning Point. It’s clear where the influence came from in these scenes, with one sequence, in particular, looking like it could’ve been slotted into an episode of The Sopranos and no one would’ve batted an eyelid. But, I will leave that description as influenced by, and not an imitation of — it didn’t feel like something that was trying too hard to be something it wasn’t, or that it lacked the imagination to be its own thing. In the context of the story and the culture in which it was set, it definitely worked.
It would be fair to say that the complexities of The Turning Point didn’t stop there. It made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions but was multi-layered in the fact that it could get a lot deeper quite quickly after those moments too. The film’s ending is one that cannot be ignored either. It was a real gut punch after everything that had unfolded previously, and how likable its protagonists were only added to its impact. Brutal stuff.
All in all, The Turning Point is a film about friendship, and how the best ones are often found in the most unlikely of places. Characters that you yourself would want to be best friends with draw you in and bring you along for the ride, making for a story that you would struggle to put down if it were a book. Definitely worth watching.
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