I haven't read the short story, as yet untranslated into English, on which this episode of the Italian Commissario Montalbano television series is based, but in some ways it's the most faithful to its source of the six I've seen.
One strength of Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano novels is their consistent articulation of a set of themes, and this episode, based on the story "Gli Arancini di Montalbano" ("Montalbano's Croquettes") highlights some of the most important.
Its politics duplicate Camilleri's political barbs. It weaves a comic dilemma through the tale, at each step heightening the humorous stakes for the harried protagonist. Most important, it captures the poignance of the series' best books. Resolution of its central crime reminds me, as especially poignant crime stories will, of the famous line from Jean Renoir's Rules of the Game: "You see, in this world, there is one awful thing, and that is that everyone has his reasons."
Watch the climactic scene, without subtitles, of "Gli Arancini di Montalbano" here.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010