Dogman is a 2018 Italian crime drama film directed by Matteo Garrone. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. At Cannes, Marcello Fonte won the award for Best Actor. Inspired by real events, it was selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.
Italian theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matteo Garrone|
|Produced by||Matteo Garrone|
Paolo Del Brocco
|Screenplay by||Ugo Chiti|
|Story by||Ugo Chiti|
|Music by||Michele Braga|
|Edited by||Marco Spoletini|
|Distributed by||01 Distribution|
Marcello is a small, mild man, living in a dilapidated Rome suburb; he owns a dog grooming shop, and divides his days between his work, his daughter, Alida, who lives with her mother from whom he is separated, and socialising with other locals. He supplements his meager income by selling cocaine to acquaintances. One is Simone, a huge and thuggish former boxer who terrorises the neighborhood. The extent of this abusive friendship is demonstrated when one night, Simone forces Marcello to take part in a robbery, as he has a van and can act as the driver. The job runs smoothly, but Marcello overhears from his accomplice that he put a dog in the freezer to shut it up. After receiving his token share of the loot, Marcello returns to the scene, retrieves the dog, and revives it.
Simone continues to cause havoc, punching a restauranteur and breaking his nose. Some locals discuss what to do about him, but no decision is made. Marcello is silent throughout. Later that night, Simone forces Marcello to get cocaine for him from his supplier without paying for it; accompanying him, Simone is turned down due to his debts, to which the thug responds by brutally beating the dealer and one of his henchmen, leaving with a haul of coke that he and Marcello consume in a strip club. On leaving, Simone is shot by a man on a motorbike. After refusing to go to hospital, Marcello takes Simone to Simone's mother's house to tend to him; here, Simone and his mother have a brief argument over the cocaine, with his mother upset by Marcello's addiction.
One day, Simone discovers that Marcello's shop shares a hollow wall with a cash-for-gold shop, and decides to rob it. Marcello tries to dissuade him, as the owner is his friend, but Simone bullies Marcello into giving him his key. Next morning, Marcello discovers that Simone carried out the robbery, planting evidence to incriminate him. Marcello is arrested; during the questioning, a policeman makes clear that they know Simone was responsible and tries to convince Marcello to cooperate, but he refuses and is imprisoned.
One year later, Marcello returns home a pariah, rejected even by his cocaine supplier, and having to rebuild his business from scratch; desperate for money, he tracks down Simone and asks for his share of the robbery (around 10,000 euros), but can see it was spent on a motorbike. Hardened by prison, Marcello retaliates by smashing the bike. The next day, the bully beats him up in public. After this, Marcello meditates his vengeance.
After a few days, Marcello seeks Simone out again, apologising for the bike and proposing they rob cocaine suppliers meeting at his shop, to which Simone agrees. When Simone arrives, Marcello tells him to hide in one of the dog cages and wait for his signal. Simone reluctantly does so, only to be locked in it by Marcello, who now taunts the bully. Simone manages to kick the door open, but Marcello hits him on the head with a metal bar as he is crawling out. Marcello chains Simone to the wall in order to treat his injury, but Simone traps Marcello's head under his arm and begins to strangle him. In trying to free himself, Marcello involuntarily kills Simone by strangling him with the chain.
Shocked, Marcello disposes of the body by setting it on fire in a field. Hearing his former friends playing football, he tries to capture their attention by shouting to them that the bully is finally dead, to no avail. He then takes the corpse back to the football field, only to discover that his friends left. Marcello eventually decides to bring it to the main square, waiting for people to notice. The groomer slowly realizes that nobody will show up, and he will remain alone with his responsibilities.
On review aggregrator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 107 reviews, with an average rating of 7.52/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Dogman offers a grim character study set apart by Marcello Fonte's performance and director Matteo Garrone's tight grip on the material." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average of score of 71 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
- "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Debruge, Peter (19 May 2018). "2018 Cannes Film Festival Award Winners Announced". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Anderson, Ariston (25 September 2018). "Oscars: Italy Selects 'Dogman' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Dogman (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "Dogman reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 9 July 2019.