Riccardo Porta’s review published on Letterboxd :
There are two ways to watch Suburra.
The first one is if you are not Italian.
In this case Suburra is an astonishing noir film.
The second ways is if you are Italian.
I don't know if you heard about it, but not even a week ago the mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino resigned before the end of his mandate. During his government a lot of things happened: all the filth and the depravity which infected Rome for years surfaced. An actual shadow governing body, which took the city by dint of threats and corruption. The main puppeteer was Massimo Carminati, founding member of the criminal organization called Banda della Magliana, and, after the dismissal of it, master artifex of Rome's Mob.
The investigation took the emblematic name of Mafia Capitale (it's important to say that mayor Marino wasn't involved in it, he resigned for other reasons, mainly political).
One of the main occupation of this shadow system was to "take care" of public money: Carminati controlled all public procurements and he was the one who was taking care that everything worked in Rome. If Rome seemed efficient in the past was because of him and his shadow system. It's not a case that after his arrest a ripple effect of inefficiency started: the garbage was no more being collected, the public transportation didn't work as it should and a couple of arson burnt Rome's airport.
But that's not everything. This summer, so when the investigation was already public, one of the major Mob families of Rome, the Casamonica, celebrated the funeral of their godfather with an extremely ostentatious ceremony: emblem of all of this was an enormous billboard with the a photograph of the dead person and the write "The king of Rome".
Probably, now you're asking why I am telling this to you.
Well, that's simple.
Even if set in the week from 5 to 12 of November 2011, Suburra is a perfect portait of current Rome (and Italy) situation. Politicians, mobster, businessmen, clergy, escorts. Even if the names have been changed, it's pretty clear who is who. They're the only ones who actually have the power to do whatever they wants. And they fight between them to maintain their interests.
Who pay the highest price, however, are the common people.
In Suburra none of the major charaters is a common person.
There's a war (sometimes even without guns) only between the highest ranks of society. Nobody is able to interfere with them. People can only be witness or victim of this war.
This is the greatest quality of Suburra: how it mixes commitment and genre.
Terrific action sequencies that are not an end in themselves: they are a mean to describe a social disease, but, although their nature of mean, they're not mistreated.
However, sometimes, Suburra really pissed me off. But not because it was bad or because it could have been narrated in another way.
Suburra pissed me off because it was true. And it was hard to accept.
In Suburra there are no heroes or salvation. All the main characters are unlovable bastards.
I'm not lying that sometimes I felt a kind of envy. I would love to have a threesome with two astonishing girls much younger than me. I would love two own a replica of the White House in which I could made the greatest parties of the city. I wish I could be rich, powerful and respected by everyone.
But I would not exchange my life with one of the narrated in Suburra. And not because sooner or later I would have to pay the price for my behaviour, but because of a feeling called responsability.
(ok, I actually lied: having a threesome with two girls like the ones in Suburra would be great anyway)