Dogman (film)

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Dogman poster.png
Italian theatrical release poster
Directed byMatteo Garrone
Produced byMatteo Garrone
Jeremy Thomas
Jean Labadie
Paolo Del Brocco
Screenplay byUgo Chiti
Matteo Garrone
Massimo Gaudioso
Story byUgo Chiti
Damiano D'Innocenzo
Fabio D'Innocenzo
Matteo Garrone
Massimo Gaudioso
Marco Perfetti
Giulio Troli
StarringMarcello Fonte
Edoardo Pesce
Music byMichele Braga
CinematographyNicolaj Brüel
Edited byMarco Spoletini
Le Pacte
Distributed by01 Distribution
Release date
  • 16 May 2018 (2018-05-16) (Cannes)
  • 17 May 2018 (2018-05-17) (Italy)
Running time
102 minutes

Dogman is a 2018 Italian crime drama film directed by Matteo Garrone. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[1][2] At Cannes, Marcello Fonte won the award for Best Actor.[3] Inspired by real events, it was selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.[4]


Marcello is a small, mild man, living in a dilapidated Rome suburb; he owns a dog grooming shop, and divides his days between his work, his daughter Alida and peaceful relationships with neighbors. He tops up his meager income selling cocaine to acquaintances. One is Simone, a huge and thuggish former boxer who terrorises the neighborhood. The extent of this abusive friendship is demonstrated when one night, Simone forces Marcello to take part in a robbery. The job runs smoothly, but Marcello overhears from his accomplice that he put a dog in the freezer to shut it up. After receiving his tiny share of the loot, Marcello returns to the scene, retrieves the dog, and revives it.

Simone continues to cause havoc, punching a restaurant owner and breaking his nose. Some locals discuss what to do about him, but no decision is made. Marcello is silent throughout. Later that night, Simone forces Marcello to get cocaine for him from his supplier; here, Simone is unwelcome due to its debts, to which the thug responds by brutally beating the dealer and one of his henchmen, leaving with a haul of coke that he and Marcello consume in a strip club. Right after leaving it, Simone is shot by a man on a motorbike. After refusing to go to hospital, Marcello takes Simone to his mother's house to tend to him; here, Simone and his mother have a brief argument over the cocaine, with the latter upset by her son's addiction.

One day, Simone discovers that Marcello's shop shares a hollow wall with a cash-for-gold shop, and plans to rob it. Marcello begs him not to do it, as the owner is his friend, but Simone bullies Marcello into giving him his key. Next morning, Marcello discovers that Simone carried out the robbery, planting evidence to incriminate him. Marcello is arrested; during the questioning, a policeman makes clear that they know the truth and tries to convince Marcello to cooperate, but he refuses and is imprisoned.

One year later, Marcello returns home a pariah, rejected even by his cocaine supplier, and in need to rebuild his business from scratch; desperate for money, he tracks down Simone and asks for his share of the robbery (around 10,000 euros), but the bully tells him he spent it on a motorbike. Hardened by his time in prison, Marcello retaliates by smashing Simone's bike with a bar. The next day, the bully beats him to a pulp in front of the neighbourhood. After this, Marcello meditates his vengeance.

After a few days, Marcello seeks Simone out again, apologising for the bike and proposing a plan to rob cocaine suppliers that are supposed to meet at his shop, to which Simone agrees. The next day, Marcello tells Simone to hide in one of the dog cages and wait for his signal. Simone reluctantly does so, only to be locked in it by Marcello, who now begins to taunt the bully. Simone manages to kick the door open, but Marcello hits him on the head with a metal bar as he is crawling out. Marcello chains the bully to the wall in order to medicate him, but Simone suddenly traps Marcello's head under his arms and begins to strangle him. While trying to free himself, Marcello involuntarily kills Simone by strangling him with the chain around his neck.

Visibly shocked, Marcello disposes of the body by setting it on fire in a field. Hearing the voices of his former friends playing football, he tries to capture their attention by shouting to them that the bully is finally dead, to no avail. He then takes the corpse back to the football field, only to discover that his friends left. Marcello eventually decides to bring it to the main square, waiting for people to notice. The groomer slowly realizes that nobody will show up, and he will remain alone with his responsibilities.


  • Marcello Fonte as Marcello
  • Edoardo Pesce as Simone ("Simoncino")
  • Alida Baldari Calabria as Alida
  • Nunzia Schiano as Simoncino's mother
  • Adamo Dionisi as Franco
  • Francesco Acquaroli as Francesco


Critical response[edit]

On review aggregrator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 107 reviews, with an average rating of 7.52/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Dogman offers a grim character study set apart by Marcello Fonte's performance and director Matteo Garrone's tight grip on the material."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average of score of 71 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The 2018 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Cannes Lineup Includes New Films From Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  3. ^ Debruge, Peter (19 May 2018). "2018 Cannes Film Festival Award Winners Announced". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  4. ^ Anderson, Ariston (25 September 2018). "Oscars: Italy Selects 'Dogman' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Dogman (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Dogman reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 9 July 2019.

External links[edit]