22 February 2000 | tantris-3
Simple lives (so it seems) with complicated motives, against Sicilian beauty ultimately redeemed by love.
Even though this may not be considered by some as one of Lina Wertmuller's best, it is very much worth seeing, specially for those who like Lina's films or Italian cinema for that matter. I find that the characters might be perceived as a little overblown, but I can also see that it is the only "Lina's Italian" way to express cinematically the passion and turbulence of these seemingly uncomplicated lives and their dramatic unfolding. Here we are not placed in the culturally sophisticated North and for that reason we must place ourselves in this context. We must also remember that geographically we are not only in Southern Italy but In Sicily which bears many more cultural influences than the rest of the mainland. I don't pretend to fully understand or explain in this short review all the intricate connections of time and culture, but in this case the raw emotional material of this "simple people" ironically is very complicated. Lina has captured this beautifully in her usual and unusual brew, mixing as always her own political views with the socio-economic and religion-tormenting issues of those (and today's) days plus the eternal tug-of-war between man and women. I was also very much impressed by the music; Vincenzo Bellini's "Casta Diva" plays an integral part of the story, it is not only wonderful to listen but it also goes very well with the visual aspects of the movie. Life is hard and unforgiving, but the country side is also beautiful and soothing. The personal points of view of these characters (wrapped as simple lives) is selfish for their own reasons but also redeeming ultimately in the light of all conquering love. The twist and turns of fate in this particular story which are such a big part of drama from the beginning of civilization are played partially against the ruins of a real Greek amphitheater and temple, this is visual poetry at its best and Lina knows how to play with it including many vistas of incomparable Sicilian coastal beauty. At the end... all is fair in love as it is in war. See it for yourself.