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The Sicilian Girl

A Story of Revenge

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

[The Sicilian Girl is based on a thrilling true story of a young girl seeking revenge on the Mafia that runs her small Sicilian village. While it’s a truly enthralling story, it may be that lingering “based on a true story” that creates that illusion. The Coen brothers know the allure of those five words, attributing it to their fictional Fargo. Still, it’s a well made movie and a story about true justice.

Rita (Veronica D’Agostino) was just a young girl when her respected Mafia boss father was killed in cold blood by her “Uncle” Don Salvo (Mario Pupella). With revenge bubbling inside her, she had to wait until she was old enough to finally take action. As she waits for that day, she uses her diaries to note the actions of the members for years, unaware of the power they’ll one day have. Her childhood love, Vito (Francesco Casisa) is also torn between his feelings for Rita and his loyalty to Salvo, his new boss.

Where the film succeeds is in illustrating Rita caught in a frustrating life of solitude, consumed by revenge and hatred. Even her mother is against her crusade, as she just wants to move past this mess and raise a quiet, feminine girl. It’s amazing the struggle such a young girl went through and how hatred and vengeance ruled her entire life from the age of 12.

Unfortunately, the film falls short of what it could have been. It focuses on how Rita, one young woman, was such a threat to a Mafia empire. Yet, we rarely see her enemies and are mostly only given her account. It ironically creates her as an unreliable narrator as we never really see the effect she has on Don Salvo and his crew.

D’Agostino also never really rises to the occasion of the fractured and complicated Rita. Sure, she can throw a fit and can slit her eyes into a focused revenge, but she never truly has the chops to do Rita justice. Yet despite all this, there’s something appealing about the film. Maybe it’s the “true story” aspect, but either way it’s worth a look.