The Goodbye Kiss (Arrivederci Amore, Ciao)

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Nau of Sands
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The Goodbye Kiss (Arrivederci Amore, Ciao)

Postby Nau of Sands » Wed 02 Aug, 2006 23:50


Arrivederci amore, ciao (2006)
Director: Michele Soavi
Genre: Crime

This is a very very dark Crime movie directed by Michele Soavi, who has been assistant of Dario Argento as a second unit director in many movies of the italian master of horror.

Actually, Soavi has mainly done TV movies since a few years, this is is first release in theaters since his cult horror movie Dellamorte Dellamore in 1994. More than 10 years to wait for a new movie !

Now this is a different genre, no more horror but a Crime Thriller following what could be a rebirth of this once brilliant type of italien movies in the 70s, we have seen recently another great italian Crime story Romanzo Criminale by Michele Placido.


The movie is a portrait, the portrait of Giorgio Pellegrini. A man about which we ll learn very few about the real motives but a lot about moral monstruosity. He is played by the handsome Alessio Boni, perfect in this cold blooded killer.

About Pellegrini we know where he comes from : a rather middle-class background who seemed to have been idealistic in his teenage years, and that made him involved in a far-left extremist group and a serie of bombings in Italy in the 80s.

We also know where he went : in latin america, partly to take part to polititical guerrillas, partly to escape Italy where he has been sentenced to a very heavy jail sentence because of the bombings he took part in.

Finally we know what he is nowadays : he has a more than 30 years old and the latin american guerrilla he fights for is dissolved (but it seems it has been dissolved several years ago actually as it is rather a mafia type organization) and he has taken contacts to get back in Italy and get a rehabilitation.

We understand that everything is not that normal with him : before getting back to Europe the guerrilla has given him a last mission, killing a friend of him, also an Italian who escaped prison sentences because of terrorism. He does it without showing the slightest form of emotion.


The movie then depicts a very corrupted Italy, where rehabilitation for former leftist terrorist is obtained thanks to contacts with corrupted judges, rotten police officers and ambitious politicians.

Thanks to the action of these people, the process is on its way. Now a new challenge awaits Pellegrini : all the people he knew in Europe when he was young are now well established, drive fancy cars, own beautiful flats and houses and show all the exterior signs of respectability. Strange for former leftist idealists - they even seem for most of them to have at least contacts in organized crime, if they are not part of it. Pellegrini seems to suffer of his status : he has nothing for ownings, except the feeling to have missed his life.

Now in the same time than he gets rehabilitation, he acts in order to catch up with the time lost in pseudo romantic revolutions abroad. He want to gather enough money to live correctly in the society he has chosen : the night club universe of Italy. But is it really his purpose ?  He acts mechanically to gain rehabilitation, following advice step by step to do the things that will influence the judges in a good way. His real motives remain obscure. Does he even know them ?

Behind the stage, he becomes part of organized crime, making an ultra violent duo with a corrupted cop Anneda played by Michele Placido.


Pellegrini is angry with the spectacle of his former comrades that are now so well established, we have the feeling of a kind of revolt in him and a will to punish. Because Pellegrini is violent, irrationnaly - or on the contrary ultra rational ? - violent. He kills in cold blood anyone who is useless or a threat to his rehabilitation. But he seems as well to be avenging himself, the lost years, the treachery of ideals. He gets rich thanks to peolple he sytematically kills when he doesn't need them anymore.

It is pure coldness, or does he just thrills and loves being a monster ? It is calculation, improvisation ? He never shows, has never a moment of weakness, of humanity.

He meets a young girl, Roberta, played masterfully by Alina Nadelea eager at creating a home and a family, based on very simple traditionnal ideas. She looks at him, now owner of a little restaurant, with an admiration without limits. On the outside, he is the perfect catholic husband she deams of. Entrepreneur, young, sportive, rich. She is just a little worried about rumors about his past as a leftist terrorist, but he is now quiet and getting rehabilitation, right. For him, a wedding with a girl with such a background is a perfect step towards rehabilitation.

But Pellegrini seems to be touched by the young girl's innocence. Is he on the way to redemption or will she only calm down the rage that seems to inhabit him ?

In the musical background comes regularly a romantic italian song,
Arrivederci amore, ciao who strongly contrasts with the extreme violence of the plot.  Is is quite a great choice, bringing irony and a little of disgust to the viewer.


The movie is based on a story by Massimo Carlotto , a former member of the radical intellectual activist group Lotta continua and depicts an italian society sunk into crime and treachery, in the ruins of former ideals, but building a very satisfactory appearance of middle-class respectality and ideals. It is really in the tradition of italian political movies from the 70s and some spaghetti westerns with poltical backgrounds.

But it is so dark, so violent. The author of the novel seems even ironic about himself as he introduces a writer who is a former member of a political activists group, now living comfortably in Paris with a large mediatic audience, while he has contacts in the mafia and organize crime in Italy (it is probably as well an allusion to the writer of police novels Cesare Battisti).

This movie is incredibly dark, tense, great from the first second to the end. It is one the most violent portraits of a killer I have seen, and the main character is one of the most despicable you ll meet in a movie. Dark is dark.

Really worth to be seen I give it a 6/6 because it is a radical movie and I don t feel like putting a tempered mark :D


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Postby Chevalier Bayard » Wed 23 Aug, 2006 00:27

Just seen it and ... wow ! :eek:

Hittman I think you shouldn't miss this one !! You'll understand why I would have directed you there seeing it ;)

Arrivederci Amore Ciao is indeed a serious punch in the face !! :eek: Compared to movies which surpise you with a final twist here all is announced clearly at the begining but it will take the audience all the movie time to accept it.

As I find it hard to speak about my vote without spoiling the heart ... here are the warnings :)

:spoilers: :spoilers: :spoilers:

At the very begining of the movie you see Giorgio killing his "best friends" with a bullet in the back, the cowardest and honnourless murder, especially for someone for who you should have had some respect like ... your "best friend" ...

So you start to think that this "best friend" wasn't really THE best friend and as Giorgio is the hero he can't be that bad and so on ... and you actually feel on his side on his crusade for rehabilitation.

As you have not been convinced, the movie puts on Giorgio's path a true scum in the character of the corrupted cop. But how dirty this man is, as he says it, he won't shot Giorgio as he has a kind of honnor code of his own which he follows...

When Giorgio breaks his alliance with the cop as a spectator I've found excuses for him as being so closed to rehabilitation he couldn't take any risks and so on ... which is already a crazy excuse and which was once again a try to blind my eyes and ignore the fact Giorgio is nothing else but a lonely cold blooded murder who only gets "expendable friends" when he requires it ...  friends who should really disappear before being "expandable" ...

Only the character of Roberta bring the horror to such a level that you cannot blind yourself anymore ... Giorgio is A MONSTER and "rehabilitation" is clearly a word which see its meaning betrayed when Giorgio uses it cause there is no rehabilitation possible for him... Blinding its eyes, the society makes Giorgio a part of it while he will clearly never have a conscience of society which implies for example compassion and respect for other members of this society ...

Very interresting...

The rythm of the movie is really well mastered as you don't have time to bore. Many things happen in this hour and a half. On the other side, as Nau had already told me about we realized with Liewen that Arrivederci Amore Ciao suffers of a strange timeline ... as it starts with a clear reference in history with the destruction of Berlin's wall ... and then it's quite a delirium with cars far too modern in the streets and the use of €uro for money far too early in time except if we have lost about ten years in the storyline  :(  ... very unexpected from Soavi who is clearly not a beginner ...

For this reason I hesitate between a 4 and a 5... if it would have clearly be a 4 while we were getting out the movie theater with Liewen ... the fact we've discussed about it quite intensively once out have makes my vote go back up to 5 for the horrible scenario showing us a REAL monster in whose mind we cannot enter ;)

That's a 5/6 from me then :)

EDIT: long time has gone by since I've seen this movie which has never really left my memories so even if I can't change my vote up there, I'll notify anyway than it does not deserve a 5/6 but clearly a 6/6.

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