21 February 2021 | clanciai
The most round-about possible way of getting rid of your wife
One of Ettore Scola's more bizarre films but an excellent study in human nature from many aspects, as this complicated possible murder case involves a number of characters, all very humdrum and ordinary, while Alberto Sordi sticks out as a very pathetic character of extreme tragi-comedy, desperately trying to find a way of getting rid of his constant nightmare of a wife but not willing to do it himself. He thinks he finds a suitable candidate for the murder in his young scholar of a neighbour, a quiet unemployed failure of a teacher and student, who only wants to be left in peace especially of his over-protective mother. Eventually the nightmare wife finds a sudden and fearful end, and her widower denounces his neighbour for the murder. The most interesting character here is actually the prosecutor, who says very little and never smiles, bur who gradually arrives at the truth of the pathetic tragedy but can't do much about it - the whole mess ends up in a hopeless question mark, as everyone resigns to his own tragedy. It is not a major film of Scola's but psychologically very interesting in its meticulous dissection of very ordinary characters.