Based on a true story Rob the Mob opens with flashback footage of the 90s before settling on the two main characters Tommy Uva (Michael Pitt) and his partner Rosie (Nina Arianda). You see the couple who are very much in love and equally as high on drugs pull up to a florist on Valentines Day that Tommy is about to rob. Tommy has met his match in the flower shop owner though and is soon arrested and locked up in prison. Cut to eighteen months later and you now see a clean Rosie in her new job collecting money before she excitedly picks Tommy up on his release day. What follows is a brilliant story about how they robbed the mob to gain money and fame.
The best thing about this film for me is the performance from Pitt and Arianda. Considering these two are actually down on their luck and are quite possibly the worst criminals ever you cant help but fall in love and feel sorry for them at the same time. This is down solely to the performance given by each of them. The passion that they each gives makes it clear that these two were very much in love with each other and one would’ve done anything for the other.
With all that goes on throughout, it is hard to remember that this is actually based on a true story and that only makes you feel a deep sense of grief as you realise that the outcome can surely not be good for these two considering they are stealing from the Mafia, as well as alerting the FBI to their crimes along the way. In amongst the grief, you do get some reprise though as there are plenty of humorous scenes to laugh out loud to. The two main characters are hapless and in particular the first social club that Tommy robs is full of one or two laughs as he struggles to gain control of his machine gun.
The Mafia in this film aren’t intimidating in the upfront violence kind of way, they are less obvious and I think it only adds to the seriousness of the kind of people that these two were messing with. They do give threats of violence but you don’t see it, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the tone of the film does not need it, the insinuation of the power and how dangerous and sinister these people are is far more powerful than any visual aid.
Ray Romano also plays a great part in this film as the journalist that tells their story in the local newspaper and ultimately should have been their savour if they had only cared to listen. Being used to watching his famous comedy TV show, its nice to see him play a serious role in a different genre.
Griffin Dunne is also worth a mention as a stand out character, he plays the somewhat dim yet loveable boss of Tommy and Rosie. His company takes a chance on ex convicts resulting in some very funny moments at the office, one of those being the colleague who walks round with a toy cat.
Providing a different side to the ‘normal Mafia’ films, Rob the Mob is a bitter sweet look at how even one of the most powerful frightening criminal organisations can be made fools of too. It’s just a shame that it was at the price of two people so in love that they didn’t really need the money they were aiming for.
‘Rob the Mob’ arriving On Demand 22nd September 2014, courtesy of Solo Media