Light, breezy, and entertaining, Mixed by Erry is a surprisingly engaging true story.
This review of the Netflix film Mixed by Erry does not contain spoilers.
Mixed by Erry, an Italian Netflix biopic, is the kind of movie that creeps up on you. One minute you’re watching the lively if unoriginal misadventures of three brothers, and the next you’re genuinely invested in a story about how an innocuous hobby changed the face of music piracy forever.
In the midst of all the (very valid) criticism of Netflix, there should always be room in the conversation for how accessible the streamer makes smaller international films like this.
Mixed by Erry review and plot summary
The story begins in the mid-‘70s, with three children being raised by a hustler father who peddles fake Jack Daniels on a market stall. Of the children, Peppe is the eldest, Angelo is the youngest, and the titular Enrico, the middle child, is a music obsessive with dreams of being a DJ.
After a prison sentence for Angelo on an attempted murder charge and the loss of a beloved job at a record store, the siblings put their heads together and come up with a business idea – copying cassette tapes and selling them on, with Erry’s mixes wedged here and there as bonuses. With the help of a copying machine bought with money borrowed from a local gangster, the gang begins a scheme that will earn them the ire of the Financial Police but the adoration of Italy’s party scene.
Mixed by Erry is surprisingly engaging, helped along by solid performances, sharp writing, and a fun sense of escalation as the operation continues to grow beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings.
Is Mixed by Erry good or bad?
Although it runs just shy of two hours, there’s an impressive pace to the storytelling, which encompasses two distinct phases – the rise and fall, simplistically – through multiple perspectives, from the brothers to the Financial Police and music industry executives. How the piracy operation develops from a petty misdemeanor of no real concern to a national crisis, intermingled with the advance of digital technology and the needs of a radically changing demographic, gives a pleasant, useful shape to the narrative that is easy to follow in its broad strokes but interesting and engaging in its finer details.
And the characters are, simply, likable. Their sibling relationships and rivalries are believable, and that family dynamic – raised on the knee of a conman who is nonetheless shocked at the scale of his progeny’s criminality – is key to understanding the psychology of Mixed by Erry.
Is Mixed by Erry worth watching?
Sure, this film isn’t wildly different from other true-crime stories that chronicle a scheme that dovetails with a very specific moment in recent history. For that matter, it isn’t even the first one about the music industry, with The Playlist, also on Netflix, telling a somewhat similar story in limited series form.
But that’s not reason enough not to recommend Mixed by Erry, a film that’s better than you might expect and doesn’t ask much of you in order to find out for yourself.
What did you think of Mixed by Erry? Comment below.
You can watch this film with a subscription to Netflix.