The Goldsmith (Review) I Only Have Eyes For You…



For starters, I’d just like to say a quick thank you to both Co-Writer and Director, Vincenzo Ricchiuto and Composer, Alexander Cimini for permitting me early access to their new Italian-made Horror/Thriller film “The Goldsmith”. The Goldsmith is a home invasion style venture that centers on a young trio of small time thieves looking to make an easy score. Stefano, Arianna, and Roberto (played by Mike Cimini, Tania Bambaci and Gianluca Vannucci respectively) have been joined at the hip ever since they were kids. Now adults, the desperate criminals through one of Roberto’s connections, have identified the home of an elderly goldsmith and his wife as an easy target for their latest job – things turn out to be anything but simple. The film also stars Stefania Casini, Giuseppe Pambieri, Andrea Porti, and Antonio Cortese.

Over the years I’ve always gotten a kick out of randomly stumbling upon new independent genre films such as L’orafo, a film that marks Vincenzo’s directorial debut. It’s a 90 minute, fast-paced thriller with fun plot devices revealed in an eventful fashion. It also has the distinction of being a technically proficient film. One of the most notable elements on display is its stylish cinematography by Francesco Collinelli, a skilled DP with surprisingly few credits. Highlights include the effective focus pulls early on, as well as the beautiful macro shots during the title sequence, which serve to establish the works of the goldsmith and potentially how he may become a key figure in the films events. There’s also a gorgeous long tracking shot that works its way into the home of the senior couple and then back out, eventually landing on a dark sedan parked roadside by the quaint manor. The audio track is tight, and Alexander’s mostly string-based score helps to generate a good amount of both drama and suspense. There’s a motif of plucking of sorts that works well, in addition to some bold piano that builds along the way as new information about the characters begins to come to life. I wanted to make mention of both the home and location (which are great), and the mask option chosen for the home invasion itself is creepy and cool.

Each of our trio appear to have equally as checkered of a past, and have perhaps rather recently made some questionable choices wherein which they’ve gone out on a limb with their own self-interest in mind rather than that of the groups – A plot point that becomes a motivating factor as the film moves into its second and third acts. Stefano presents as the dominant alpha male persona, seemingly supported through everything by girlfriend Arianna. As for third wheeler, Roberto – he’s clearly a loose cannon that can’t really be relied upon. This sort of juxtaposition among the three makes for an interesting dynamic. The performances are solid across the board, and the introduction of separate story threads with their own layers gives further credence to the film. The surprise dimension is the way in which Ricchiuto and Co-Writer, Germano Tarricone setup the final act and how they use certain players in unexpected ways.

When looking for negatives nothing obvious stood out. The one thing that may work against The Goldsmith though is that both its general plot as well as the vast majority of its specifics around motivations, are eerily similar to that of last year’s “The Price We Pay” from filmmaker Ryuhei Kitamura. A film also about criminals who get more than they bargain for when wandering onto a farm where they discover sinister activity. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t predict nearly everything that was going to happen here, purely for no other reason than I had seen that aforementioned film. With the pure volume of films being made on a daily basis around the world, I suppose coincidences are bound to happen from time to time. It doesn’t take anything away from Ricchiuto’s film. On another note, I suppose the film is guilty of a few of the usual trappings of the genre i.e. A character goes through sizeable lengths to escape a dire situation, but when given the chance to run they hesitate and opt for something non-sensical – and surprise surprise, it doesn’t work. I found myself on a number of occasions questioning a semi-mature Stefano and his decision to work with someone as reckless and unpredictable as Roberto, Why would you? Some of the specifics around one character’s motivation lacked a bit of clarity, in addition to whatever the overarching connection from the beginning of the film was.

L’orafo aka “The Goldsmith” is a visually polished foreign Horror/Thriller with some great writing and direction. It showcases a variety of really good shot choices, crisp sound design, and an impressive musical score. The films characters are all inherently watchable, even if by and large unlikeable in nature. In addition, the sequences of action work well, although I could’ve personally done with a little more in the way of the kills and subsequent special fx. Most of my complaints are fairly minor but for a genre fan such as myself, I found it difficult at times to set aside the bulk of the ins and outs of what I had previously witnessed in that Kitamura film I mentioned earlier (released not all that long ago actually). Anyone not familiar with “The Price We Pay” is likely to get an even clearer outlook of The Goldsmith than I did. That said, it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable film that I’d definitely recommend to fans of the genre.

You can check out the official trailer below!

The Goldsmith – 7/10