Review: Beneath a Scarlet Sky features a beautiful true story


22-year-old heart-throb Tom Holland caught the eyes of many when he came out as Peter Parker in the Marvel universe in Captain America: Civil War. Then, it was Spider-Man: Homecoming, Infinity War and now it is Spider-Man: Far From Home.  But what comes after this? Well, the actor’s next film, excluding the animated Spies in Disguise, is based off an Amazon number one bestseller: “Beneath a Scarlet Sky.”

While you could wait a year or two to see Tom Holland’s face on the big screen, you could also sit down with a beautifully written novel based on a true story before you go see it in theaters.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky is about a forgotten Italian war hero named Pino Lella, whose character will be played by Holland. He starts off as just an average teenager obsessed with girls, food, and music — that is, if your average consisted of living in World War II Italy. After his hometown of Milan gets bombed by the Americans, Pino is sent off to Casa Alpina, where he spends his time helping Jews cross the border, a very dangerous mission he accomplishes group after group.

Once he turns 18, however, his parents force him to enlist in the German army, fearing that he will be conscripted to fight in the Italian army, which has a much higher mortality rate. Upon coming back with an injury, he comes face-to-face with Hitler’s left-hand man, General Leyers. Next thing Pino knows, he is his driver. Awed by this new opportunity, Pino’s uncle tells him to spy for the resistance and the Allies. Now, Pino risks his life to send information to the Allied powers while falling in love during one of the darkest times of history.

No more spoilers: to experience the whole story is to read it oneself. This novel was a brilliant piece written by Mark Sullivan who had the privilege to interview Pino Lella himself. He wraps up Pino’s story by bringing it back to present time, closing up old wounds and granting the misfortuned soldier peace.

On Monday, we celebrated veterans, and we can continue the celebration by reading a story about one. Pino’s story may have been forgotten, but Sullivan brings it back to the surface where we can all appreciate it, him, and other veterans. It was a great honor to be able to read Sullivan’s touching and thrilling novel and Pino’s narrative, but you know… It’ll be just as exciting seeing it on the big screen with Tom Holland’s face on it.

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