*** ½ (out of 4)
Matteo Garrone’s Dogman tells the story of Marcello (Marcello Fonte), an Italian dog groomer, and his decidedly unbalanced relationship with an abusive thug and druggy named Simone (Edoardo Pesce). To summarize what happens plot-wise: for most of the film, Marcello obsequiously looks out for Simone, to the point that he voluntarily elects to go to prison rather than rat on Simone. In return, however, Simone bullies Marcello, repeatedly beats him, and coerces him into facilitating a break-in. By the end of the film, Marcello has had it with his “friend”: after tricking Simone into locking himself inside a dog cage, he ends up killing Simone outright.