Security (2021) Review

This Italian surveillance thriller-drama is a decent slow-burner

Rony Patra -

Security (2021) Review
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What is the story about?

In the sunny seaside town of Forte dei Marmi, Roberto Santini, a home-security expert specializing in high-tech surveillance, has a lot on his mind: he is in an unhappy marriage with Claudia, who is running for the position of the town's mayor; his daughter Angela is growing estranged from her parents, and he can't sleep at night due to the pressures of his work. One day, he uncovers footage of a girl, Maria Spezi, who has been assaulted and bruised. Even as her father, Walter, is arrested, and Maria is taken to hospital, Santini ends up investigating the assault, only to discover that there is a bigger conspiracy to cover up the actual crime. But can Santini get justice for Walter and Maria in a town whose rich inhabitants look upon them as outsiders?


It is hard to watch Security and not think about other similar thrillers that have played around with surveillance as a concept, such as Disturbia or Naqaab. British director Peter Chelsom adapts American author Stephen Amidon's novel and transfers it to a wintry setting in an Italian seaside town, but the broad themes this film talks about are issues being faced all across the world. Santini, the protagonist of the film, is a veritable ghost. He is perpetually looked down upon by his rich clients, in spite of his marriage to the ambitious Claudia. His equation with main accused Walter is one that has changed over the years from respect to anger to remorse. Yet both of them are considered outsiders in a town that has been overrun with wealth. Most of its inhabitants are millionaires who live in gated houses, with their own surveillance systems, and Santini takes care of these clients. However, Maria's plight awakens something in him.
By the time the first half plays out in the style of a standard thriller, you know who the actual guilty party is. Yet, instead of piling up twists unnecessarily, Chelsom uses the entire second half as a sharp study of the class divisions in Forte dei Marmi, with a tone similar to Mare of Easttown and Talaash. In spite of a slapdash, hurried climax, this is otherwise an engrossing little thriller that is content taking its time to reveal how selfishness can ruin a neighbourhood. It's worth a watch.


Gomorrah star Marco D'Amore is assured as Santini, who struggles in his quest for justice with a failing marriage, insomnia and guilt eating him up. Maya Sansa is all right as his wife, Claudia, who is hungry for political power. Silvio Muccino is suitably rakish as writing professor Stefano Tomassi, who gets involved in a sexual relationship with Santini's daughter, while Fabrizio Bentivoglio is caricaturish as influential businessman Curzio Pilati. The rest of the cast are okay.

Music & Other Departments

Mauro Fiore's cinematography and Andrea Farri's background score lend an urgent tone to the film.


Marco D'Amore's performance as Santini is the definite highlight.


Definitely the climax. It seems Chelsom was in too much of a hurry to give the film a convenient ending, and in doing so, he unnecessarily accelerates the film's story.

Did I enjoy it?

I found it engrossing, except the hurried climax.

Do I recommend it?

This is a decent one-time watch.

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