3 May 2012 | walterbroner
Misadventures of Mimi
As a woman director in the early seventies, in a series of films Lina Wertmuller took on the issues related to gender and sexual revolutions, feminism and entrenched politics and economics. This work is one of them.
As is true of this part of her oeuvre, the film works on many levels. The director is never satisfied with merely going after the easy laughs. Any viewer looking for social commentary, both in the main story-telling and the subtext will come away satisfied.
This is a very "Italian" and "European" movie, in the sense that it captures the spirit of the times: both of the Italian North/South cultural wars/divide and of a particular European concern with the strength of "left" political and artistic movements and explorations of alternative, non-materialistic life-styles.
All of this is shown as experienced by Mimi, a southern Italian everyman, buffeted by fate. In this role, Giancarlo Giannini once again shows his mastery of the acting craft. As is true for all foreign films, my advice is that if you don't know the language of the original, always view the subtitled version, so as not to miss the subtleties of the individual performances.
I won't give away any of the plot. Just want to note that (as an architect, not a formally- trained film-maker) I can still appreciate the choices made by the director and cinematographer in telling the story. This is true for a thousand details. In the case of this film, the inspired choice of the camera lens ("fish-eye") for the scene between Giannini and Elena Fiore toward the end of the movie, adds immeasurably to its effectiveness. See for yourself and ROTFL.