Inspector De Luca-Update and penultimate and final episodes
(see previous write-ups of first few episodes 1 & 2)
So i stuck with Inspector De Luca to the end. I didn’t know it was the end until i read a preview afterwards.
Having watched the final episode # 4. Well that was a bit of a short series then. However secretly (whilst not sure who its a secret from exactly it just sounds good) i was relieved.
By episode # 3 end, i had mentally girded myself so to speak, to see Inspector De Luca out to the end. I started it! So i will finish i told myself. I am interested in the historical events. Albeit that they are now extremely thin on the ground and increasingly hard to follow.
Who on earth was so and so, shot at the end? the names come and go so quickly and fleetingly, but are obviously important and historical.
I try repeating it to myself but fear it will disappear into the mist along with all the other names, the long list of people involved in the increasingly boring case or crime that has stretched out to an infinite infinity of dull during the episode.
Who exactly was Orlandetti for example? and why on earth was Anton Bandetti important or relevant again? I stopped caring a long while back. Perhaps I was missing buildings, city and detailed enough scenery to keep me amused. When you find yourself mentally photographing the admittedly gorgeous golden red patterned wallpaper in the brothel you know things are not good.
Inspector De Luca dropped the ball, not him, himself you understand, for me in the third episode. That was when i started to feel like it was a chore in the watching of. Yes, i got bored.
Inspector De Luca didn’t fulfil its first exciting and historically panoramic promise of the first two episodes. Even the plot wasn’t logically explained at the end. i.e.. How did the British know who was the culprit? Did Guido tell them?
Amusingly the British on first presentation had only two accents: the plummy Officer talking posh and fortunately being fluent in Italian (unless this was a convenient device) and his men in the background talking
exaggerated cockney in the ever undying stereotype of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Film-makers outside the UK do seem to hold to these caricatures for perpetuity in some cases. Sigh.
Maybe the penultimate episode was just out in the country too long and of two few characters, consisting of De Luca and Guido for what seemed an undying eternity.
I was fascinated with the river that Inspector De Luca crossed, which led into a small shallow lake full of huge flat saucer like stepping stones. Over his left shoulder was the mountains. This was a real place. It was stunning.
But then some more pre-requisite hot chick action. With travelling shots up legs and thighs not seen since the sinister camera work of Top Of The Pops in bygone days.
Presumably all this is sexism proof since its the 1940’s and all bets are off. Myself i found the histrionic shouting of Inspector De Luca to his lady love in the last episode wrong-footed and daft. Likewise the supposedly sexually charged scenes between him and his slightly cross-eyed squinting inamorata who was continually staring blankly but meaningfully into the distance.
The whole described organisation of the brothel system seemed surprisingly Communist in its execution. Possibly this dated originally back to the time of Il Duce. Yet i read that the Empire were very hot on purity and women being mothers and having as many babies as possible. Who knows. Who knew for example that there were “partisans” who leaned towards Mother Russia? Not me.
The experience of watching Inspector De Luca was a little like when you visit a museum and are met by actors dressed up in the clothes of a particular period. But instead of just standing there, the actors could wave a magic wand and take you back to an enactment of that time period itself, a realistic film.
That was what Inspector De Luca did, successfully. The cases were superfluous and irrelevant. Unfortunately the crimes and the solving of them became annoying. In that they were over-long and over intricate and near cancelled out the historical story for me.
I found the time to get your kit off interludes with the signposted love interest of the episode also tiresome
and extraneous. I found myself wondering if we were meant to be attracted to either Inspector De Luca on one side and the women on the other. An object of desire for whichever camp you were in.
I did have a Colin Firth moment (although i have only heard tell of this scene) when De Luca announces he will cross the river. Ah, river, white shirt, i found myself pondering in true Pride and Prejudice expectation, that Inspector De Luca was about to get shirtless. Although Colin Firth, as befits an Austen adaptation only gets wet.
But sadly, no. Since De Luca needs to hold onto his one good suit that he stands up in. Although in the final
episode he has gained two suitcases of clothes.
I did note and like how each episode opened in a bus station, a train station or another mode of transport. As in when the trusty black Police car is wheeled out of the barn.
Each episode was described as a film For me, really only the second episode merited this description. Being a complete film unto itself.
It may sound cruel, but i am glad Inspector De Luca has ended. As my loyalty would have caused me to watch further episodes otherwise out of an historical curiosity, to see what happened next, to see it to the end. Whatever point in time had been decided to be so. That decision itself would have been interesting.
Yet i found myself in the last two episodes getting that Inspector Montalbano feeling. Even the music, rising to an impending and exciting crescendo when really not very much was happening, was reminding of of Inspector Montalbano. I speak as someone who grew to like Inspector Montalbano, whilst being aware of and accepting its similar over elongations of plot and plodding time.
All testament to the amazing effort involved in recreating the tiny details of the scenes: the offices, the
delightful shot underneath the typewriter as it typed. Every infinitesimal period detail .
More correctly i should say as Inspector De Luca typed, quite fast actually. In an impressive rendition of a real life Inspector of the day: used to clacking away, two-handed mind, not one. Perhaps he had taken Pitman typing lessons.
All in all i found myself thinking during this last episode that it would have been less tedious and more
interesting to have watched a Documentary on Pre/Post World War II Italian history.