The Young Observant review – teenage kicks at prestigious Italian waiter school

This docu-fictional hybrid follows a blank-faced and talentless waiter in the ways of swanky silver service

This film is avowedly a docu-fictional hybrid, for which director Davide Maldi has shot fly-on-the-wall nonfiction scenes at a prestigious Italian “silver service” catering college where teenage boys are schooled in the ways of becoming smoothly efficient waiters in white jackets and bow ties. The fictional aspect evidently comes later, with the careful selection and curation of scenes, although this is arguably no more “fictional” a procedure than in any other documentary.

It follows Luca Tufano, whose blank, unreadable expression becomes more enigmatic as the film progresses. He is quite obviously terrible at this vocation, at one stage dropping an entire tray of glasses with a deafening crash. But at no point does Tufano talk back, or jeer at his teachers; neither does he look contrite, worried or determined to mend his ways. With a group of other boys,
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