1 April 2020 | ulicknormanowen
Ite missa est .
"La Messa è finita" begins like Bunuel's "Nazarin ": a priest who believes in a pure religion,an idealist who does not realize that the society around him is primarily materialistic ;it ends like Bunuel's movie ,or more likely like the same' s "Viridiana" , two works in which both heroes accept ,the former ,a symbolic pineapple , the latter ,a menage à trois.
Since half a century , Catholic churches get more and more empty ; the ritual has lost its mystery ,gone with the latin of yore.When he enters his church ,Don Giulio finds a place covered with dust and cobwebs ;apart from his two altar boys, nobody attends his mess.The world outside is not prepared to accept a strict moral .
The former priest is now a happy husband and a father of a child he adores (" you can love both humanity and the one you cherish") ; his father deserts his faithful wife for a woman who could be a daughter ,and he wants to have a baby ;his sister ,who 's pregnant by a man who is more interested in the fate of rapaces and snakes (ahead of his time,as far as ecology is concerned) ,wants an abortion ;during a premarital meeting ,a future husband laughs himself silly at the biblical meaning of the verb " to know" .......Cesare,an adult who attends Sunday school, can only be considered a joke in this context .
As the movie progresses, Don Giulio realizes he's more and more concerned with himself: "when I hear somebody' s confession,I can't help but thinking of my own problems "; when his dear mom commits suicide ,the first question which comes to his mind is : "who will think about me now?";And his last mess revolves around I ,me ,mine.
Trust Moretti to avoid clichés and to come up with unusual scenes : the most questionable is the beating up near the fountain ;it comes to soon in the movie .
"La Messa è finita" ,and when the unfortunate parents of his future work ,and IMHO materpiece "la stanza del figlio " (2001) lose their only child , they will find some consolation,not in religion,but in meeting their boy's friend.