Palermo. The sun beats down, and shots ring out as a mafia assassination goes awry. The crimelord target survives, so his ruthless bodyguard visits the home of the brain behind the would-be hit, a vengeful clean-up in mind. There’s a loose end, however, since the latter’s blind sister is also in the house, sensing an intruder afoot. On impulse, the hitman decides not to take her out – a decision to have life-changing implications for both of them.
This first feature from an Italian writing and directing duo really hits the heights in its first forty minutes, especially in the extended suspense set-piece where Sara Serraiocco’s visually-impaired innocent becomes aware she’s not alone, the claustrophobic camerawork and suggestive soundtrack brilliantly conveying the blind girl’s rising anxiety.
Later developments however, prove disappointingly predictable, taking the central characters and the connecting crime story pretty much where you’d expect. Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri is impressively poised and implacable as the not-quite-ice-cool henchman, the action’s staged and shot with due precision, yet this story of humanity manifesting itself in unexpected circumstances just doesn’t have enough surprises on offer to make good on that early promise. A noteworthy debut nonetheless.