LORD OF THE ANTS tells the story of the affair noted poet Aldo Braibanti and his younger lover. Braibanti was sent to prison under a Mussolini era law. Here the the court case is investigated by a journalist who senses that something wasn’t right with the whole affair. As he looks into the matter we get to see how events played out. It’s a film with its heart in the right place but which doesn’t seem to really want to offend.
I’m really mixed on this film. A great looking film, it looks and feels like one of the films from the masters of Italian cinema that we don't see anymore because the masters are now gone. I loved the visual texture of the film. The bare bones nature of the story is intriguing, the problem is that the presentation here never grabbed me. Blame the portrayal of Braibanti who comes a cross as aloof and entitled. He’s a man we admire but not someone we really would want to sit down and have a meal with. I kind of understood why some people would have wanted to lock him up.
The other problem is presentation is kind of toothless. It doesn’t really want to make the stand it could have or should have. It's kind of like passing a guy on a street who mumbles something is bad about the government when they should be waving a sign like an angry protester. The result is a film where we feel no indignation, rather we are just being told a story.
I was disappointed.
At the same time I should point out that in researching this film I did run across a couple of people who were deeply moved by the film because things in it kicked up things from their own life.
While not bad LORD OF THE ANTS is just okay. The choice to see it is up to you.