Title: La felicità è un sistema complesso (Happiness is a complex system)

Director: Gianni Zanasi

Starring: Valerio Mastandrea, Giuseppe Battiston, Hadas Yaron, Paolo Briguglia, Teco Celio, Maurizio Donadoni, Filippo De Carli and Chiara Martini.

Criticism on capitalism is at the core of Gianni Zanasi’s new flick: La felicità è un sistema complesso (Happiness is a complex system).

Enrico Giusti (Valerio Mastrandrea) has a very peculiar job: he convinces irresponsible entrepreneurs to sell their companies, in order to make them competitive again through arguable mechanisms he is not fully aware of. But he will start to question what he does through a Deus ex machina: the arrival of Achrinoam, an Israeli girl who has been dumped by his brother and that he suddenly finds in his home. This encounter will revolutionise his way of seeing human relations.

Despite the understandably good intentions of the film, it feels as an anachronistic political critique, contoured by cliche characters. Indeed the story tries to portray a generation that is going adrift, and the approach is rather introspective. But the rhetoric of the general moral is preachy and redundant.

The film stands on the shoulders and humour of actor Valerio Mastrandrea, whose character predictably changes through love. The case Enrico ultimately handles, which involves two responsible orphan adolescents who inherit an empire after their parents’s death caused by a car crash, will showcase his transformation.

Zanasi’s criticism would have been more effective if he had chosen to send Enrico to a cynical point of no return, with the evil world of money-making crushing him. The weakness of the film is that it tries to be realistic and depict our times but it gives into a fairytale finale. The twist is not flamboyant, it’s rather discreet, but it’s excessively politically correct to make a loud statement.

Technical: B

Acting: B

Story: C

Overall: C+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

La felicità è un sistema complesso (Happiness is a complex system) Move Review

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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