The Turning Point Review: Individual Solitudes Collide to Create a Heartwarming Friendship

The Turning Point (La Svolta) is an Italian feature film by first time director Riccardo Antonaroli. The film was premiered at the 39th Turin Film Festival in 2021 and released on Netflix on April 20th, 2022. The 95 minutes long film tells the story of an economics student Ludovico and a thief Jack, they meet when Jack is running after stealing money from some local gang. As they spend more time together, an unexpected friendship develops between them, helping both come to terms with themselves, especially Ludovico.

– The Turning Point review does not contain spoilers –

The Turning Point in Ludovico’s life:

Ludovico is a mediocre student of economics with low self-esteem and loneliness. He is kind of a Hikikomori (Japanese term for solitary people, especially men, who live by themselves and rarely get out of the house), he has no friends and talks to no one except for his parents. He lives in his dead grandmother’s apartment and has surrounded himself with books, records and films. Despite his loneliness, he has found a friend in drawing comics, at which he is pretty good.

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In comes Jack in a series of unexpected circumstances in Ludovico’s life and turns it upside down with his energy and positive outlook towards life. This is The Turning Point in both of their lives, as Jack becomes a sort of an older brother to Ludovico. Jack challenges Ludovico in ways that make him uncomfortable at first, but gradually he begins to realise his true, unashamed self in those challenges. This is the essence of The Turning Point: both Ludovico and Jack, lonely and unsatisfied in their own ways, come together and find their true selves with each other.

In characterisation, The Turning Point is somewhat autobiographical, as, during the interview for Turin Film Festival, the director Antonaroli talks about his inspiration for the characters of Ludovico and Jack. He says, “…in Ludovico’s inadequacy I rediscovered my early career insecurities…when the fear of judgement from others and putting myself on the line risked mortifying my aspirations.” and “…unconscious unscrupulousness of Jack, who walks along the wild side of life,”. The Turning Point, in this sense, provides a very real touch to the characters, not just the main ones, but the supporting ones too, as they also are struggling to define themselves and find their footing in a cruel world.

The Turning Point Review: Individual Solitudes Collide to Create a Heartwarming Friendship

The original score for The Turning Point is composed by Michele Braga who provides excellent support to the emotions of both the characters. Especially the main track, La Svolta, gives perfect voice to the melancholia of the film and its resignation to it. Another high point of The Turing Point is its cinematography. Comprising of kind of underground, dusty neon colours, it gives the vibe of a comic book, which is apt since Ludovico likes to draw comics as a hobby. With such frames, it seems like the film is made from Ludovico’s imagination, which the viewer enters along with Jack.

Love and brotherhood in the face of a cruel world:

The major theme of The Turing Point is brotherhood. From the point when Jack forces himself into an unchallenging Ludovico’s home, there is a sense of responsibility in Jack towards Ludovico’s well-being. As if by default, Jack becomes the constant nagging, but supportive elder brother who encourages Ludovico to listen to his heart and do things he wants to do, not what’s expected of him. Maybe Jack is making up for his lost brother in Ludovico, maybe Ludovico finds him easier to let in than his family, who are very judgmental of him.

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Whatever it is, it makes for beautiful onscreen chemistry, both characters and actors seem so in tune with each other it’s amazing. Both Brando Pacitto (Ludovico) and Andrea Lattanzi (Jack) have given superb performances, making oneself so vulnerable onscreen only proves their unmatched acting skills. The Turing Point is a perfect example of good direction, good acting, good music and a beautiful plot. Rarely you will find yourself wandering through the tight but simple plot, for simplicity is in the veins of The Turing Point. In showing the complexities of the human ego and the difficulty we face in navigating through this cruel and unforgiving world in a very simple, neat manner, Antonaroli has succeeded in expressing himself.

the turning point

As if its plot was not enough, there are also some very interesting and quotable dialogues by, surprisingly, the so-called villains of The Turning Point. Take for example, “The wind is never favorable for the sailor who doesn’t know where he is going.”, or, “The more you lose, the more you wanna get it back.” Humanising the villains, Antonareli has made them no different than Jack and Ludovico, like them these small-time gangsters are also trying to make it in their own lives. Especially the character of Spartaco, who provides a harrowing twist in the end, is quite good.

Verdict:

Apart from these, there are numerous references to Italian films, as Ludovico is quite the film connoisseur, spot them if you are at all interested in Italian films. There are also references to philosophers like Nietzsche and Socrates. There is a lot to pay attention to in the film, you might find these little pop culture nuances interesting. The Turing Point is a beautiful film that delivers on its premise, demonstrating the director’s hard work, vision and honesty in the process. Watch The Turing Point if you like low-key, coming of age, realist kinds of films, it’s available to stream on Netflix.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

The Turning Point is a story of an unlikely friendship between two people from completely different worlds and their efforts to overcome their shortcomings while navigating through the hostile world.

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The Turning Point is a story of an unlikely friendship between two people from completely different worlds and their efforts to overcome their shortcomings while navigating through the hostile world.The Turning Point Review: Individual Solitudes Collide to Create a Heartwarming Friendship