Real-Life Danilo In ‘Beautiful Rebel’ Explained: Is Gianna Nannini’s Father Dead?


Directed by Cinzia TH Torrini, Beautiful Rebel is the story of Italian musician Gianna Nannini, and it makes us privy to the kind of struggles she had to face in life, the lows and highs she encountered on her way, and how she emerged out of the chaos and did not surrender to her circumstances. Nannini was one of those lucky people who knew what she wanted to do in her life from the very beginning. She liked music, and at a very early stage, she had decided what she was going to prioritize and what she wanted to do in life. Maurizio Lombardi plays the character of Danilo Nannini, Gianna’s father, and through the actor’s performance, we get an idea about the kind of relationship the father-daughter duo shared in real life. Obviously, the makers have taken a few creative liberties in the portrayal of the real-life character of Danilo Nannini, but a conscious effort has been made to keep the essence intact. 

It is true that the Italian songwriter and singer had her share of complications when it came to her parents. As we saw in the film, Danilo didn’t want his daughter to become a professional singer; instead, he wanted her to focus on her studies or make a career in sports. We saw how Danilo made Gianna practice tennis for hours and came to see each and every match during the competition. Maybe Danilo’s inclination towards sports was because he himself was a professional footballer and later, for roughly around 2 decades, he was the president of the same team, Siena Calcio. It could be said that Danilo was an orthodox man and his daughter pursuing a career in such a field wasn’t something that he was fine with. It could be said that for him, being a musician was not a very respectful decision and he tried his level best to dissuade her. 

What Danilo didn’t understand for the longest time was that Gianna was not somebody who agreed to do whatever the other person told her because, from a very early age, she had a lot of clarity about what she wanted to do in her life. Danilo wasn’t coming from a bad place, as he just wanted to make sure that his children’s lives weren’t uncertain. And obviously, it cannot be denied that he had some preconceived notions because of which he was just not ready to accept the fact that his daughter wasn’t ready to listen to him or to agree with his point of view. There was a time when Danilo went bankrupt, and that entire phase made him realize certain things about life. Danilo knew that financial stability was very necessary if one wanted to have a happy family life. Danilo was in the confectionery industry, and he had a successful stint as an entrepreneur as he was able to expand his distribution chain and sell his product on a national level. He had plans for global expansion too but then he hit rock bottom, and claims were made that he had resorted to illegal means in order to save his business, which made things even worse for him. 

Gianna didn’t listen to her parents, and she made it very clear that she was going to chase her dreams. Gianna talked with a lot of conviction and her attitude and resolute decision making made us realize how much confidence she had in her abilities. 

There was a time period when the father and the daughter were not in touch, but they always had a lot of love for each other. Many times, children misunderstand their parents’ concern, and they believe that all they want to do is stop them from going after that one thing that gives them happiness. At a tender age, it is difficult to understand the perspective that a parent holds, and a lot of times, conflicting ideologies, the generational gap, and the ever-changing notion of what’s morally acceptable and what’s not aggravate the matter even more. It is true that Gianna did things that Danilo didn’t think were appropriate, and we saw in Beautiful Rebel how he came and switched off the television when she was performing “America”. We saw the kind of love Danilo had for his daughter when she was fighting her drug addiction. Danilo was there for his daughter, and he made sure that she got the best treatment.

At the end of the film, Gianna got to know that he was suffering from some illness and probably didn’t have a lot of time left. She immediately went to see him, and that’s when he said something that made Gianna overwhelmed. Danilo told his daughter how proud he was of what she was able to accomplish in life. He said that he had never been happier than he was after being proved wrong in his life. Danilo Nannini passed away on February 15, 2007, at the age of 85, and I hope that reconciliation with his daughter helped him be at peace in his final moments.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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