Italian thriller Security takes a sneak-peak into the lives of the Rich through a set-up of surveillance cameras. The narrative comments upon the fact that their lives seem perfectly staged. Like experiencing a glossy postcard. From their table etiquette to their lubricating talks, everything is without dirt. But that is where they hide their lies. Behind their richness. Because, in real life, truth is often messy, and that isn’t something they can afford. But unfortunately, a surveillance guy looked into their lives, the events behind their four walls.
Directed by Peter Chelsom, the story is adapted from Stephen Amidon’s novel of the same name published in 2009. The principal photography of the film took place in Forte Dei Marmi, Tuscany, Italy. The small seaside town is generally used by the elite as a gateway from their mundane lives. Thus, it is populated by small Villas, which they own.
Roberto Santini (Marco D’Amore) runs a video surveillance system through which he keeps a tab on the security of the villas. He works night and day to keep the town safe, but he isn’t mainly a workaholic, just an insomniac. The inciting incident kicks in when on a winter night, an assaulted girl, Maria Spezi, peeps into the security cameras of several Villas. Possibly to ask for help. But the neighbours take it as a threat, assuming that it might just be an intruder.
Roberto is called by his off-shore clients to look into the matter. After a thorough check, he assures them that their Villa’s security hasn’t been compromised.
The next day, Roberto investigates the footage through his surveillance room. He finds that the girl, Maria, is the daughter of his ex-technician, Walter. Unfortunately, Walter is an alcoholic and gets charged with assaulting his daughter. But when Maria wakes up from anesthesia, she reveals an inevitable truth that complicates the mystery.
Who assaulted Maria?
The majority of the film’s investigation was focused on finding out the actual attacker. The police found her father, Walter, an easy target because he had a history of violence, substance abuse, and assault. Even Maria’s essay in her school, recorded in a leaked video, suggested the same. But on that night, Walter had little to do with the bruises.
The second primary suspect was Dario Nobile. He used to work for a wealthy politician, Curzio Pilati. He worked as a caretaker to Pilati’s villain in his absence. The footage retrieved from Pilati’s Villa revealed that on the night of the assault, Dario was with Maria, and they were both wasted. But along with Dario, there were two other men, faces of whom wasn’t properly visible. Dario was considered a principal suspect because, on that night, he broke down a camera outside Pilati’s Villa, which was perceived as an action to tamper witnesses.
The two men were finally tracked down. One was an author, and the town’s English professor, Stefano Tommasi, and the other was Pilati himself. Earlier, Pilati lied about his presence in the Villa. Still, by the end, Dario finally testified against Pilati, who assaulted Maria that night.
Why did Pilati assault Maria?
Pilati was a wealthy politician who helped Roberto’s wife Claudia in becoming the Mayor of the town. But behind his philanthropist work, there was a demon lying beneath. Pilati was suffering from Germaphobia, due to which he couldn’t bring intimacy in his cleansed life. As soon as someone touched him, Pilati lost his mind. So to fulfill his sexual desires, he hired Dario and gave him his Villa to bring girls and get laid with them. During their course of action, Pilati gazed upon them through a secretive camera and pleased himself.
On the night with Maria, Pilati wanted to take things a bit further. He mixed oxycodone in Maria’s coffee and asked Dario to make love to her. When Dario refused and left the Villa, Pilati took matters into his hand. But soon, his phobia kicked in, and he was disgusted by Maria. As a reflex, he assaulted her mercilessly (as testified by Dario).
Later, he ordered his men to get all the footage deleted. Roberto thought his wife authorized the erase, but she was unaware and unbothered. For Claudia, Pilati was a God who gave her a second life, an ambition to live, and thus, she was too blinded to suspect him.
What happened to Roberto’s daughter, Angela?
During her childhood, Angela went missing from a park. Roberto and Claudia got worried and searched the whole block. Later, she was found behind a carousel with Walter Spezi, standing in front of her with his zip open. Claudia thought he was assaulting Angela. Roberto expelled Walter out of a job, and since then, his life had seen the worst of it.
In her essay read during her English class, Angela revealed that Walter never assaulted her. In fact, she went to the carousel where Walter was working. When Angela reached there, Walter was heavily drunk and was taking a piss by the tree trunk. His private parts were covered with urine and not semen, as Claudia blamed. Thus, the whole story was made up because of Claudia’s blindness and anger.
Later, Angela started a secret relationship with her professor Stefano Tommasi (Maria’s assault suspect). Was Stefano a bad guy? Not mainly, but he was instead a spineless figure who entertained Pilati’s offensive schemes for money. He was a failed writer in need. Stefano was tasked to write a white-washed biography on Pilati’s life. A move of the rich to put feathers on their status in society.
‘Security’ Ending Explained
Everyone in town was blinded by Pilati’s prestige and honor. No one was ready to suspect him, especially Claudia. In the end, Roberto decided to end his conflicting marriage with Claudia and moved to Elena’s house.
Walter was killed by the police, who thought he was going to attack him with the knife. But it was a staged act by Walter to die because he was scared to kill himself. Roberto was traumatized by his friend’s death. So he decided to bring him justice.
In the closing sequence, Roberto edited all the footage that revealed Pilati as the main culprit who mixed Maria’s drink. Because the actual footage of the assault was deleted, Roberto created his own narrative that would point towards him as the killer, even without the actual footage. He blazed alarms all over the town and streamed the footage on the screen of each household. Roberto wanted to give them an idea of what would have happened on that night. Finally, the city came out of its fortresses and discussed the tragedy.
“It’s sad that a community is united only in times of tragedy. It’s sad when human beings will only step outside their fortresses to share their grief, to admit their fear.”
Symbolically, Roberto suggested that when Walter was alive, no one paid heed to his misery. But he is pretty assured that after his death, people are going to mourn for him. To cry over spilled milk is something we do best.
Security is a 2021 Italian thriller film directed by Peter Chelsom.