10 November 2019 | brogmiller
Heaven or Hell?
Where does one start with this film? No names here. HE is played by Laurence Harvey who also produced. SHE is Sylva Koscina. One either regards her as a sexually liberated woman or praying mantis and either pities him for his love or despises him for his weakness. He finally breaks free and there is a momentary flash of regret in her eyes but then comes the sting in the tail..... Koscina is superb in the role, by turns tantalising and monstrous and Harvey, who certainly did not win any popularity contests amongst his peers, proves once more what a marvellous film actor he is. Director Mauro Bolognini again shows his mastery of the medium. The cinemtography by Enno Guarnieri is stunning. He shot 'Garden of the Finzi-Continis' the following year. Art direction by Giorgio Bini captures the emptiness of modern urban life and there is a haunting score by Morricone. A scene involving her ageing female relatives is Fellini-like. Some might call this film 'arty', some 'experimental' but whatever label one chooses to attach, this a well-made, well-acted film that holds one's interest which is all that really matters. Seeing the plight of Harvey's character calls to mind Shakespeare's words:......'all this the world well knows but none knows well to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell'.