Teenage pregnancy is often seen as a calamity in the developed world. Comedy director Roan Johnson takes this mindset in Piuma and crafts well-told story jam-packed with laughter.
The first thing that’s striking about Piuma is the back-and-forth between characters that looks effortless, but in reality is the result of intense rehearsals. Every actor should be commended. While it’s normal to point out one who stands above the rest, it’s impossible to do so here as everyone brings something unique and wonderful to the film. Whether it’s the crazy physiotherapist Stella (Francesca Turrini), or Ferro’s long suffering father (Sergio Pierattini).
The two teens Ferro and Cate are left to do most of the dramatic lifting in the film. As they navigate the growing pains that come with their new responsibilities, Ferro (Fedele) himself struggles, as he tries to maintain his fidelity. Both Fedele and Yoshimi perform these dramatic roles perfectly while rolling along with the laughs.
Of course, the actors deserve most of the credit for Piuma being so funny, but Johnson knows how to deliver comedy through the camera. Without some choice long-takes and timely camera movements, some bits wouldn’t be as hysterical as they are.
Tone also ensures that the comedy is relatable. Through light colours and some whimsical breaks with reality, the tone is kept positive. But at the same time the writing is grounded in the reality of the characters’ situation. The realistic way it depicts the class difference between Cate and Ferro’s families is a particularly admirable quality. Plus, it must be said that Pierattini and Cesscon absolutely nail the way bickering parents behave.
Piuma is a hilarious and affecting coming-of-age story that conveys its light-hearted nature in every aspect of the production. Whilst it ultimately leaves its characters facing uncertainty, Piuma remains hopeful; a quality that is always welcome in these troubled times.
CAST: Blu Yoshimi, Luigi Fedele, Michela Cescon, Sergio Pierattini, Francesco Colella
DIRECTOR: Roan Johnson
WRITER: Roan Johnson
SYNOPSIS: Piuma is the story of Ferro (Fedele) and Cate (Yoshimi), your average couple. All of a sudden, an unexpected pregnancy turns their world upside down.