Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sascha Zacharias & co in "Tatanka" [2011 Italy]

Promising director Giuseppe Gagliardi's latest crime drama "Tatanka" [Eng. Title: Raging Tatanka] is about a boxer growing up in a tough Neapolitan neighbourhood, under the constant shadow of the Gomorra. The film casts Clemente Russo in the titular role - a real-life professional boxer who was given the sobriquet "Tatanka" meaning bison, and who also grew up under similar circumstances.

While several films - some even legendary, have been made about boxers fighting their way to glory, "Tatanka" is different in many ways. It is not as much about he seeking glory, fame or recognition, but something more personal - his fight to live with dignity and honour. The film is very well scripted and the screenplay/direction is surprisingly well done, even if it has a documentary feel to it. The cinematography and editing is excellent, especially during the first fifteen minutes of the film as the kids are chased by police through the narrow lanes of Naples. The soundtrack is also imaginative, and I think overall this is an above-par piece of entertainment, and therefore Recommended Viewing..!

Michele and Rosario are close friends but with different attitudes to life. While Rosario is impetuous and often lands himself into trouble, Michele is more level-headed, but even he wouldn't hesitate to come to Rosario's rescue when needed (which is very often). It's during one of his favours that he gets done for a murder committed by Rosario, and spends eight years in prison while Rosario lives free. Fatefully, Michele was to attend an important meeting to seek sponsorship for his boxing training - to get qualified for the Olympics when Rosario calls on him asking to help him seek revenge on another guy. Upon release, Michele finds Rosario doing pretty well - he had joined hands with the Gomorra (Neapolitan equivalent of the Mafia) and started making big bucks. Rosario refurbishes Michele's locked-up gym and organises pre-fixed fights to raise Michelle's ranking.

But sooner or later it was bound to happen - Michele is asked to throw away a particular fight. But he just couldn't go through with it, he k.o's his opponent instead. Knowing his life is now in danger, Michele accompanies Petra, a woman who had watched his fights and who now wants him to help run her posh restaurants back in Germany. But it doesn't work out as their outlook on life are worlds apart. Michele participates in seedy underground boxing contests, until he gets spotted by a former Olympic coach, who trains him for the highly regarded Stammring tournament. But when he had to return to Naples for his grandfather's funeral, Rosario comes looking for Michele...

Compilation: Claudia Ruffo, Susanne Wolff, and Sascha Zacharias
Since there's only brief nudity in the film, I'd decided to include a couple of more interesting scenes from it.

Claudia Ruffo, Susanne Wolff, & Sascha Zacharias in Tatanka

Scene Guide:
  • Young Michele with girlfriend Luisella - unfortunately the film hasn't included the entire cast in its credits - only the major ones, and am hence unable to ascertain the name of the actress playing young Luisella. There's however only a brief nipple-slip from her in this short scene.
  • No nudity - Michele meets Luisella after eight years. We realise she had moved on during his time in prison, and pleads him to stop looking for her. The older Luisella is played by Claudia Ruffo.
  • No nudity - some dancing girls entertain Michele and Rosario.
  • No nudity - Michele in bed with Petra, played by German actress Susanne Wolff.
  • The German Olympian coach asks Michele to train with Caroline, who later gives him an eyeful at the showers. Caroline is played by cute and sexy Sascha Zacharias.


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