[Spoiler-Free] Starring Kim Rossi Stuart, Maltese - Il romanzo del Commissario is an excellent Italian crime drama in the vein of La Piovra.
1976. Dario Maltese, an elite cop with a painful past, works in Rome. He returns to his hometown of Trapani (in Sicily) to attend the wedding of his best friend Gianni Peralta, who's a senior police force member too. In the train, Dario meets photographer Elisa Ripstein. When Peralta and his bride are gunned down, Maltese asks to be transferred to Trapani in order to investigate. A local newspaper suggests that the Peralta murder is a crime of passion but the commissario is convinced that Gianni was killed by the Mafia.
Maltese - Il romanzo del Commissario is a 4 x 90-minute miniseries written by Leonardo Fasoli & Maddalena Ravagli, the scriptwriters of the series Gomorra, with Gianluca Maria Tavarelli. Tavarelli, the helmer of Il giovane Montalbano, also masterfully directs. Pubcaster Rai 1 aired the first episode on Monday and the second on Wednesday. Maltese is a co-production between RAI Fiction and Carlo Degli Esposti's Palomar (Inspector Montalbano, I delitti del Barlume, Braccialetti rossi) with German indie Maze Pictures, ZDF Enterprises and Dramedy Productions. The talented Kim Rossi Stuart based his performance as the tenacious Dario Maltese on real-life cop Ninni Cassarà, murdered by the Cosa nostra in 1985.
The character reminds of Corrado Cattani, the policeman portrayed by Michele Placido in RAI's classic La Piovra (1984) and three of its sequels, with some shades of Salvo Montalbano. The very good cast includes Rike Schmid (Elisa Ripstein), Francesco Scianna as journalist Mauro Licatta, Antonio Milo (Saverio Mandara), Marco Leonardi, Roberto Nobile (Il Commissario Montalbano) as Police Commissioner Aldo Saura, etc. With the participation of Eros Pagni (Prosecutor Leonci), Michela Cescon (Gabriella Montano) and Valeria Solarino (Giulia Melendez). The impressive cinematography is by Marco Pieroni. German composer and music producer Ralf Hildenbeutel did the sublime score.
Produced by Carlo Degli Esposti and Nicola Serra with Max Gusberti. Marco Camilli, Margherita Murollo & Luigi Pinto are the producers for Palomar, and Giuzzi Buondonno & Filippo Rizzello produce for RAI. Patrizia Massa exec produces. Filmed with the support of the Lazio Region and the European Union. A RAI Fiction presentation distributed by ZDF Enterprises.