Nobody ever wants to conform to his or her parents’ desires and Tommaso (Ricardo Scamarcio) is no different. When called back to his hometown of Lecce in Italy’s deep south to take over the family pasta business, Tommaso decides to finally come clean about his homosexuality and his hopes of being a writer. But his brother Antonio (Alessandro Preziosi) soon interrupts his plans. Director Ferzan Ozpetek embarks on a comedic journey, which begins with Tommaso’s troubles, but eventually reveals every family member’s struggle with obeying the social standards and pursuing his or her own desires.
“Loose Cannons” is defined by its eccentric cast, which includes an adulterous conservative father, an alcoholic aunt, a gorgeous yet secretive business partner, and Tommaso’s flamboyant friends who attempt to appear straight. Ironically, the matriarch of the family (Iraria Occhini) is the most accepting and understanding of her grandchildren’s yearnings to pursue their true desires. Occhini is excellent in playing a witty grandmother, who has no fear in speaking the truth, especially when it comes to her son and disgruntled maids. Though the film often stereotypes its characters, their emotionally rich plotlines redeem the movie. Their personalities contrast the rigidness of the traditions of the town. As the tensions rise between various family members and more secrets are revealed, the chemistry further improves among the actors. However, the film is limited to analysis of only a few relationships.
Ozpetek successfully depicts the emotions and views of all of the characters by switching the camera focus to narrate the film through the eyes of multiple characters. This method of filming helps capture the similarities and differences of each family member, while also keeping the story interesting. Ozpetek captures amazing shots of the classical architecture of Southern Italy through the use of shadows, flashbacks and rich color. Adding to the authentic Italian feel, the film is filled with a catchy soundtrack that ranges from Italian pop songs to classical orchestrated pieces.
“Loose Cannons” aims to comically critique Southern values, but in doing so, it creates a film that is relatable to everyone everywhere. Though every character is a loose cannon, the success of this relatable film relies on the union of each character’s quirks.