The Goldsmith Plot
The Goldsmith (AKA L’orafo) follows a trio of criminals on the way to their latest heist. The plan is straightforward, Roberto (Gianluca Vannucci), Stefano (Mike Cimini) and Arianna (Tania Bambaci) just have to break into the home of an elderly goldsmith and get into his laboratory to take whatever they can find.
Things seem to be going well at first, the break-in goes mostly well and the goldsmith Antonio (Giuseppe Pambieri) and his elderly wife Giovanna (Stefania Casini) are tied up while the trio begins their robbery… but when the door of the lab closes and locks the three criminals inside, they soon realise that maybe the elderly Goldsmith and his wife aren’t as defenceless as they appeared and the longer the night wears on, the two elderly homeowners seem to be less and less innocent as well.
The Goldsmith Review
If reading that short description gave you some serious Don’t Breathe vibes then good, that’s definitely the kind of film that you’re in for when you see The Goldsmith. A home invasion gone wrong has so much potential and while this might have the same bare bones as Don’t Breathe, you won’t ever guess exactly where this wild little film is going to go and it revels in that. It’s a slow builder that slowly slides through the genres, from a simple little thriller to something a bit more psychological to borderline slasher territory and eventually just full-on torture porn (hope you’re not too squeamish about eyeball stuff) and it all just flows naturally.
The Goldsmith building tension is gradual and it works wonderfully, the change in intensity and insanity well earned by the time the film reaches its final horrific image. The entire film takes place mostly in one location, the house of the elderly couple, and that claustrophobia just keeps getting more and more intense the longer the film goes on as the film slowly removes any access to the outside world.
Admittedly there are one or two moments where the tension feels like it lets go, coincidentally the few times that we leave the house to go check on a side character who is watching porn in a warehouse… those scenes do admittedly break the focus and while that character might be important later, cutting away to them does kind of ruin the momentum for a brief moment. Fortunately, The Goldsmith is really good about getting its rhythm back after these little moments.
What really helps The Goldsmith to be effective is how carefully it plays its tricks, slowly letting the audience in on the grand scheme of what’s going on in a way that will admittedly have you a little confused right up until the end, at which point everything clicks into place and you’re just left with some brutal insanity that is undeniably confronting.
It’s very careful in how the film goes from the warm comfort of a home to a cold and almost barren laboratory and then even further, till the film just descends into hell and revels in the more visceral shocks that it’s been building up to and somehow keeps from becoming silly. It earns the extremity by building up to it carefully, and once it gets to the more extreme stuff it has a lot of dark twisted fun with it.
What also really helps The Goldsmith is how it plays with character interactions, making sure the audience is at least a few steps ahead of everyone in a way that just heightens the tension or removes our sympathy from someone who might be moments away from being on the grisly end of something pointy.
One particular highlight is when a character tries to tell a heartfelt emotional story about their past, only for the flashback to show that they’re missing key details and lying about certain elements in order to make us trust them even less. It’s so brilliantly thought out that it really does make you question how to feel about them and shows just how desperate they are to get through this.
Throughout all the horror, The Goldsmith’s intensity is aided by a genuinely stunning cast who just bring everything they’ve got. The highlight of the entire film is the glorious Stefania Casini, who you might remember as Sara from Suspiria, because Stefania gives a performance that can only be described as what would happen if your sweet loving grandmother went absolutely batshit crazy but still acted like your sweet loving grandma. It’s incredible, a performance that is terrifying in full context but you can easily see how people would just see a sweet affectionate old lady. Honestly, her performance alone is worth the price of admission here.
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The Goldsmith Review
The Goldsmith is a great rendition of the home invasion gone wrong, tense and thrilling as hell with some glorious imagery and an ending that is just the right combination of bonkers and disturbing. It’s the kind of film that doesn’t let up, once it starts it goes for broke and doesn’t stop. While there are a few moments that don’t work, 99% of the film is just so clever and creepy that it carries through the little stumbles. The Goldsmith is eye-catching in more ways than one.
What did you think of The Goldsmith?
The Goldsmith showed as part of the A Night Of Horror international film festival at Dendy Cinema Newtown from 17th-23rd October 2022. What did you think of it?
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