ZeroZeroZero is available now on Sky Atlantic
Based on the sweeping novel of the same name by Roberto Saviano, ZeroZeroZero is nothing short of epic in construct. Its dark, brooding, tension laden story of family, deception and treachery brimming with nail-biting brilliance. While at the same time knocking its TV competition out of the park in its sheer cinematic scale and bravery. Here, the international drugs trade is viewed from three distinct perspectives; the suppliers in Mexico, the buyers in Italy, and the New Orleans dealmakers. Each part of the system wrapped in its own unique family and community dynamics, as individuals vie for power, place and privilege.
But, what happens when a deadly global machine built on cocaine hits the rocks? The internal politics and profit of a billion-dollar business creaking under multiple failings. The answer can be found in the three unique stories ZeroZeroZero offers, each separate, yet interlinked as we march toward the show’s conclusion. The characters we meet in New Orleans, Mexico, and Italy only converging in moments of heart-pounding tension as the system around them collapses into chaos; the instigators more interested in their own place and power than the devastation they unleash.
Our story opens with the buyers, an Italian family led by the cunning, ageing Don Minu (Adriano Chiaramida). His power and grip slowly failing, alongside his health. While at the same time his ambitious grandson (Giuseppe De Domenico) waits patiently to steal his crown. Meanwhile, in Mexico, the suppliers are represented by church-going Special Forces leader Manuel Contreras (Harold Torres). His role in fighting the cartels a mere cloak for his genuine, violent intentions. Finally, in New Orleans, we meet the dealmakers; the Lynwood family. Led by the distinguished Edward (Gabriel Byrne), and his daughter Emma (Andrea Riseborough). His younger son Chris (Dane DeHaan) kept sheltered from the business and its dangers due to an incurable illness.
With the opening episodes directed by Stefano Sollima (Sicario 2: Soldado) (Gomorrah, the TV series), ZeroZeroZero sets out its uncompromising stall quickly. Sollima bringing a gritty and sharp realism to the story at play with a cinematic eye for detail; in what can only be described as a truly epic slice of TV drama. And unlike similar outings, it is within the sweeping complexity and global perspectives of its story that ZeroZeroZero excels far beyond its contemporaries. Its story not only echoing the scope of The Godfather but translating this into a modern political context. While at the same time allowing its rich performances to shine through the horror at play.
As a result, ZeroZeroZero finds itself rooted in the coercion, violence and entrapment of a deadly global drugs trade. Its story never allowing for simple conclusions, false glamour or airbrushed realism. And while this may result in a dark, brutal and relentless slice of TV drama, it is all the better for it.