Oh we do love Inspector Montalbano here at OC Movie Reviews. The glorious technicolour that pops from the screen, the beautiful setting, the wonderful food, the fantastic stories.
In this latest series (six according to the BBC, 13 according to IMDB, go figure), we get just the usual two episodes, why it isn’t more is one of life’s great mysteries.
The first, The Other End Of The Thread, sees Montalbano, Luca Zingaretti (“Let The Girls Play”, “Perez”), dealing with the migrant crisis to begin with as they arrive in the local port in their hundreds, with one girl having been raped on the journey.
This particular thread of the story feels a touch out of place and is a side-story to the main one which sees our Commissario go for a suit fitting with Elena, Elena Radonicich (“In My Room”, “All About You”).
It’s not long however, before Elena winds up dead, stabbed multiple times in her dressmaking room. Montalbano is lead on a merry chase to piece together the back-story of this woman who seems to have kept herself to herself, though had many admirers.
A discovery about an ex who has died under mysterious circumstances, assumed to be suicide when everything points elsewhere, leads to some old material holding more of a key than anyone presumed.
I can’t say that The Other End Of The Thread is one of the best Montalbano episodes there is. It feels a touch disjointed from the usual, like watching someone get back into the swing of things when they’ve been out for a while. However Catarella, Angelo Russo (“Baci Salti”, “Mai Arrendersi”), provides the slapsticks laughs in his attempts to look after the cat of Elena.
Thankfully, we get to A Diary From ’43 and now we’re cooking. As an old set of bunkers are being pulled down a diary from the war is found, this coincides with the return to the area for John Zuck, Dominic Chianese (“The Sopranos (TV)”, “The Godfather: Part II”).
Zuck has lived most of his life in Chicago but has returned to the area as he was born there. His mother and father tragically killed in a motor accident many, many years before and he is trying to piece together the events from that time.
Coincidentally, a 90-year old man is shot and killed by an old war pistol and Montalbano begins to suspect that the diary may have some role in all of this.
The story takes many flashbacks to the time of the war, bringing to life the writing of the diary, as the Americans arrive to liberate the country.
It’s a tragic tale of a different time, revenge and guilt. It’s beautifully put together and this is also the episode where they acknowledge the tragic passing of Marcello Perracchio who played Dr Pasquano for many, many years.
The writers have put in that the doctor was ill for some time, but hadn’t told anyone, and passed whilst on holiday. We see them all gather at the funeral and toast his life, it’s a lovely send-off.
It’s so good to have Montalbano back on our screens, let’s hope we don’t have to wait another year for two more episodes though.