Mixed by Erry
It is a Monday and a start of a wonderful week wherein I have more space to explore amd scout for new content. With that, I finished watching the new Italian film Mixed By Erry which is now streaming on Netflix. I must admit that I knew nothing about the music piracy of the 80s in Italy but there was some common ground between the piracy then and the piracy from the 90s and early 2000s that did happen in India.
The music industry in India was flourishing until the early 2000s with so many artists emerging from the Indie Pop space. Those were the times of cassettes and CDs that almost gave the 90s kids bragging rights. The era of walkmans and diskmans were on the ascendency, and something that later did trigger the movie piracy event in the early 2000s. The 90s kids did live in a time when entire movies were copied and transferred from one disk to another for free! This was such a ‘burn’ing issue then and something that wasn’t quite restricted back in the day, the repercussions of which are still seen today even as technology has improved. With Mixed By Erry, I had an opportunity of studying the piracy from the 80s while also briefly getting acquainted with the business models of the perpretrators along with a touch of Italian culture. So then does Mixed By Erry manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Based on true events from the 80s, Mixed By Erry follows the story of an aspiring DJ who along with his brothers begins to pirate music via a mixed tape. Slowly but surely, they become powerful record producers wanted by the law. The story is unconventional and almost a quirky take of the piracy which was prevalent in the 80s in Italy. It is eccentric and funny at so many places, almost guaranteeing a good time which watching the film. The screenplay standing at a 100 odd minutes does make for a compelling and engrossing watch that is hilarious in equal measures.
The drama does open with the introduction of the protagonist who is shown to be in jail. The drama quickly cuts to a flashback wherein the young protagonist lives with his family who is from a humble background. The writers also do well in acquainting the viewers with the neighbourhood that does have elements of crime being prevalent in the vicinity. In fact, the father of the protagonist too makes a quick buck by selling adulterated alcohol to make a living. A quick take on his aspirations includes him being a DJ and producing music. But fate has something wicked in store!
The proceedings are engaging and engrossing particularly when the protagonist gets to the dirty work. The music culture of the area is so well explored while giving the viewers a little taste of the Italian culture from the 80s. The events are quirky and funny given that none of the three brothers know how to build a business and all they do is copy music and sell them at a low price. In this process, they become so popular that they are mistaken for music producers which was outright hilarious! The cat and mouse chase between the brothers and the law does contribute to some thrilling and fun moments in the narrative. There is a sense of purpose to the drama wherein there is always something or the other transpiring onscreen which ensures that there isn’t a single dull moments.
The various events in the lives of the brothers are briefly tapped into with a bunch of people entering and leaving their lives. This, while there is a change in technology through the decade forcing them to revise their strategies. The final act takes you back to the same point where the film had started but it accounts for such a hilarious final scene that will leave you in awe while you shall find yourself laughing hysterically. It was exaggerated but blended perfectly with the tone of the drama and it did ensure that the drama ended on a high! Overall, the screenplay is extremely well written and makes for an eccentric watch!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational and compliment the unfolding drama wonderfully well. The music is definitely the high point of the film and it does give you a vibe of the 80s instantly. The BGM is peppy and pulsating and elevates the drama at various places. The cinematography is fabulous with some nice frames to support the narrative. The editing is crisp and sharp as well. Director Sydney Sibilia does a magnificent job by opting for a quirky take on a serious crime. He fills the screen with bouts of eccentricity and humour that makes for a riveting watch that is engaging and engrossing at the same time.
The performances are excellent here by the ensemble cast. Chiara Celotto as Francesca has her moments to shine. Adriano Pantaleo as Pasquale and Christiana Dell’Anna as Marisa are outstanding in their respective roles. Greta Esposito as Teresa is first rate. Fabrizio Gifuni as Arturo is a lot of fun to witness. Emanuele Palumbo as Angelo and Giuseppe Arena as Peppe are fabulous to watch. Luigi D’Oriano as Enrico aka Erry is brilliant with a touch of innocence that he infuses his character with. He elevates his performance to a whole new level towards the backend of the drama, making it such a towering act.
Mixed By Erry is a quirky, musical and unconventional crime comedy from the 80s that comes with my highest recommendation. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!