Independent Film Shows Taking it “Easy” is Hardly That

13 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Life is never easy for anyone, ever. Isidoro (Nicola Nocella) had a chance for doing great things, but in whatever happened in his early career from transitioning from a champion go-kart racer to Formula One, it all came crashing down. This detail is important and gets explored in the comedy-drama simply known as Easy. This film’s title is also the nickname given to this protagonist

He could have cut the calories earlier, but since he has become too big boned for his own good, he believes a lot of opportunities were lost. He’s become destitute and alone. Hints of clinical depression suggest he’s never gotten the help needed for a happier life. Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki shows that life at home is not as simple either. His mom fawns over his sibling brother and his room is like a mausoleum. All he remembers is his former glory and has little to look forward to in his adult life.

Filo tries to get him out of the house and into the light. He tasks him with a job that should be, well easy to do: transport a dead body (a co-worker) back to a small Ukraine village so the family can give that person a proper burial.

But after a series of misfortunes, Isidoro loses nearly everything given to him to make the trip. All he has left is his pride, and even that seems in low supply. To understand him means understanding his journey. One part road trip movie and another part Wild West (especially in the excellent orchestral soundtrack), this work is a laugh a minute and introspective. He is incredibly steadfast in wanting to get the job done, and Kaurismäki’s direction shows he will not back down.

Nocella’s testament to making this character work is with how sympathetic he is. Despite being a simpleton, there’s a drive within him to know he can not let his brother down. Easy gets scolded at every step whenever he calls home, but when that is lost, all he has is himself to motivate him. It’s hard not to feel for his plight. He could have given up, if not quit, and hide under a rock. This guy does the opposite. It’s hard not to cheer for him at the end, and I can only wish more people can be like that.

4 Stars out of 5

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