A Raw, Shocking Character-Driven Story
Based on a true story, On My Skin is an astonishing, absorbing story about police brutality and the horrors of being alone in a desperate situation. Boasting slick cinematography and some really impressive camera work throughout, On My Skin is a roller-coaster ride of emotion, propped up by a compelling performance by Alessandro Borghi as Stefano Cucchi.
The story begins with Stefano cutting pot and cocaine in his apartment before leaving to deal drugs in his car. After being caught by the Italian Carabiniere and sent to the station for questioning, things turn into an unimaginable nightmare as Stefano finds himself alone, desperate and at the mercy of the police. Conceptually at least, On My Skin has a very simple plot line but the stylish execution and perfect pacing make this a really impressive effort. Even more so given the implications that this was based on a true story.
With a minimal cast and most of the screen time dedicated to Stefano, Alessandro Borghi does a great job mixing bursts of anger with uneasiness at the contemptuous disregard from the Carabiniere. This is all helped by an excellent use of exhausting long shots, great composition and deliberate bites of dialogue to really accentuate the desperation of the situation.
The no-frills approach to telling this story works really well, highlighting serious questions about police brutality and corruption in our law enforcement transcending beyond this Italian film. A profound lack of melodrama helps too; On My Skin is content telling a polished, refined story without the need for fancy action set pieces or dramatic pauses.
On My Skin is a brutally realistic film, one that tells its character driven story with confidence while respectfully honouring Stefano’s memory with this account of his story. With minimal interruption from the supporting cast, On My Skin is a very focused film, one that shines an uncomfortable spotlight on police brutality and the harrowing desperation of being alone.
Verdict - 8/10