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Freaks Out – TADFF 2022

Freaks Out

Freaks Out – TADFF 2022

Synopsis:
Rome, 1943: Matilde, Cencio, Fulvio and Mario are the main attractions of the “Mezza Piotta Circus” run by Israel, meanwhile someone starts looking for the four freaks with a plan that could change the fate of the whole world.

A troupe of circus freaks fight back against a Nazi showman in . Matilde (), Fulvio (), Cencio (), and Mario () are four superpowered performers for the Half Penny Circus run by Israel () in 1943 Rome. When a bombing mid-performance destroys the circus, Israel goes off on his own to try and secure passage to America. When Israel doesn't return, Fulvio, Cencio, and Mario join the Zirkus Berlin run 6-fingered Nazi pianist Franz (). At the same time, Matilde goes off on her own and ends up with a guerrilla squadron led by the hunchback Il Gobbo (). When Matilde discovers that Nazis have captured Israel, she sets out to retrieve her friends and stage a rescue.

Freaks Out is a World War II fantasy written and directed by Gabriele Mainetti, with the film being the recipient of 8 awards from the 2021 Venice Film Festival. Each of the titular freaks has an X-Men-like superpower, with Matilde able to generate electricity, dogman Fulvio having super-strength, albino Cencio able to control insects, and pint-sized clown Mario being magnetic. These super abilities become the target of the ousted Nazi, Franz, who can see the future and wants to create a superpowered army as a gift to Hitler.

I could see Freaks Out as the type of film Guillermo del Toro would love, with the film arguably depicting carnie-life better than del Toro's Nightmare Alley from last year. Freaks Out features intentional anachronisms due to Franz's future-reading abilities, with him playing some familiar tunes during his piano performances. The biggest issue with Freaks Out is the film's 2-hour 21-minute running time, which could have easily been trimmed down. However, the film is still a well-done story about this family of freaks.

Trailer for Freaks Out – TADFF 2022

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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