“A Brighter Tomorrow”. Moretti’s Circus, Our Joy [REVIEW]

“A Brighter Tomorrow” is simply good cinema – this film is absolutely unique, sincere, and draws from the legacy of the best.

Marcin Konczewski

6 March 2024

brighter tomorrow

Giovanni Moretti’s film, the creator of such productions as the renowned “Habemus Papam” – “We Have a Pope” or “The Son’s Room,” is a story about… making a film. Thematically, it nods to famous productions such as the Oscar-winning “The Artist,” Woody Allen’s “Hollywood Ending,” or “The Player.” However, tonally, it is closest to Fellini’s films or Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso.” The starting point, which is a love for cinema and an attempt to create the most ambitious film of one’s life, is just a pretext for building a treatise on the condition of the Seventh Art, the highs and lows of the contemporary film industry. And above all, about what remains most important in life, the loss of values, relationships, and understanding of reality. Moretti allows us to both ponder and laugh alternately. It’s an exceptional affair.

Giovanni, the main character, is a cinephile in the vein of Woody Allen’s intellectuals – his life revolves around cinema, he breathes through it. His entire life, his loved ones, friends, family are all subservient to this love. The director creates a circus-like historical film, which is supposed to be a summary and crowning achievement of his career. Working on set shows us how lost Giovanni is in life, not understanding the mechanisms of contemporary reality. The creator encounters new obstacles along his way – a deceitful producer (fantastic, hilarious Mathieu Amalric), a daughter involved with a much older man (played by Jerzy Stuhr), quarrels and romances among the actors, or Netflix’s expectations. However, his uncompromising approach to filmmaking as such remains the biggest problem. And this is the strongest point of “A Brighter Tomorrow” – the analysis of what cinema is all about. Moretti, embodying the main character, seems to express his own opinion on the matter. Thanks to this, the Italian production escapes narrative standards, still breaking the fourth wall, winking at the audience.

So many cultural comments, playful forms here! The creator refers to the work of Kieślowski (it’s almost a love letter to his films), Scorsese, and many incredible figures from the world of science, culture, and art. Several scenes are perfect material for memes or TikTok clips. Is it intentional? I doubt it. Scenes on the action movie set or at Netflix headquarters are some of the funniest sequences I’ve seen recently. It leaves the viewer at a crossroads – it’s hard to remain indifferent to Giovanni’s love for films, yet at the same time, we see that he forgets about what’s most important in life, getting lost in his passion, failing to see that he’s simply mentally destroying those closest to him. Thus, we become spectators of a very personal treatise on the bittersweet taste of life. In the final analysis, “Better Tomorrow” is a very atypical… feel-good movie. Despite the bitter reception of modernity, there is still constant hope within it. The whole is adorned with truly wonderful, diverse characters. They prove how great the creator’s love for cinema is. It’s a marvel.

brighter tomorrow

“A Brighter Tomorrow” is also quite successful in playing with form. Here, we get a surprisingly assembled set of elements from a great comedy (I smiled at the screen more than once!), a solid drama, an honest portrayal of everyday life, and even subtle traces… of parody reminiscent of Mel Brooks’ productions. The absolute distillate of the Italian atmosphere pours out from the screen – the music here is a separate character. All of this makes “A Brighter Tomorrow” simply good cinema – this film is absolutely unique, sincere, and draws from the legacy of the best, including the master Fellini, whose spirit continually hovers somewhere.

“A Brighter Tomorrow” has given me so much pleasure. It’s not a flawless film; some may find it odd, but to a cinephile, it can really provide a ton of satisfaction. Scorsese likes it. Netflix, not so much. In all 190 countries. You’ll understand when you watch it. It’s worth it!

Marcin Konczewski

Marcin Konczewski

The founder of the Kon (Horse) Movie fanpage, where he transforms into a film animal who gallops with pleasure through the multiverse of superhero productions, science-fiction, fantasy and all kinds of animations. If he had to say something about himself, he would say that Kon is a pop culture lover, a self-proclaimed critic constantly looking for a human in cinema, a fan of non games, literature, dinosaurs and Batman. Professionally, a teacher (by choice), always opposed to the concrete education system, strongly pushing alternative forms of education. He quietly writes fairy tales and fantastic stories for his little son. A Polish philologist by education. He collaborates with several publishing houses and YouTube channels.

See other posts from this author >>>