The Complexity of Happiness Review
The Complexity Of Happiness focuses on distinctive characters who are trapped unconsciously in their self-created cocoon filled with remorse and regrets in the hope of redeeming themselves, someday. And no, it does not preach how to subdue it, or crawl past the thing holding you back and seek happiness; no one can do that. Screen-writer & director, Gianni Zanasi, instead give us the characters who are broken like us and tamed by a human conscious effort to make things work in their favor despite their heart not into it.
Italian actor Valerio Mastandrea plays an independent agent Enrico — close to George Clooney’s downsizer’s character in ‘Up in the Air’ — who convinces incompetent CEO of small firms to quit for his recruiter. Though Enrico doesn’t enjoy his job, he hates firing people as evident in one scene where he favors a deal with a minimum layoff; he has a personal reason that has taken hold of him emotionally. Though his frustration of rote rotten life is not apparent, thanks to his understated performance where he effortlessly slips into the character’s skin; he has no self-realization about the same. It is enigmatic Avinom (played beautifully by Israel actress Hadas Yaron) who unintentionally pushes him to the edge that galvanizes the inner feelings.
Avinom is a friend of Enrico’s younger brother who drops her to Enrico’s flat and runs away. Avinom has her set of issues that does not cease to end. Just when Enrico’s boss open the old wounds, he is faced with the most strange task of assisting teenage son & daughter of late CEO who died in a car accident along with his wife, not to take helm of the industrial group.
The interesting thing about The Complexity of Happiness is the way it fuses the apparent economic issue of Italy in the lives of characters and the way it put these character under the moral scanner is subtle & exceptionally good.
Gianni Zanasi’s screenplay moves at the uneven pace in the second half, a few unseen turn of events look rushed. But then it does not dilute the emotional arc of the characters. The way he dodges the apparent predictability with the more organic development of the character, it compensates for the nitpicked screenplay issue.
The Complexity of Happiness presents an astute look at how human themselves are accountable for their acute suffering, in a comedic tone with the quite perfectly synced soundtracks that absolutely aid the narration, fused together with the style & substance.