23 July 2003 | wonderfulfable
Life after a death of a loved one would not be same, then there is this 'life'....
Antonia was living the life of most women would dream of. A good medical career, a loving husband, and a wonderful marriage. All that came to a crumble one day when he died in an accident leaving Antonia is grief and mourning.
But an accidental discovery of a painting hinted that Antonia's husband Massimo has another lover. Burning with anger, Antonia sought to find out more about this lover. But there is a catch; Massimo's lover is a man, Michele. Which shocked Antonia more to realising that her husband had lead a double life; one a straight married man, the other a gay lover.
Through Michele, she learnt more of her husbands secrets. A circle of friends Massimo has known through Michele, drag queens, immigrants, gay men, quirky apartment neighbours, and also AIDS patients. This circle of friends shared a warmness that all frienships has. Her open minded curiosity led her to befriend Massimo's circle of friends. Indirectly, she has replaced the vaccuum left by Massimo's death. At the same time, there is a growing attraction between her and Michele, as both are brought closer together. She then contrasts her life with Massimo and then with this 'new life' she has found after his death. Furthermore, she has to address her growing affections for her departed husbands lover.
Turkish director Ozpetek captures the warm bindings of this motley group of friends and in realistic detail in the confines of Michele's flat which serves as the groups meeting point for dinners and chats. The audience can feel the warmth emmitted from the togetherness of these people. A beautiful scene is where we see the dance party which is played to the tune of a slow song number overshadowing the dance beat in the background. We see all the circle of friends, Antonia and Michele included having a good time, bonding (yes even literal bonding!). Longing glances were exchanged between Antonia and Michele. This serves as a powerful scene and many assumptions or predictions can be made from this tease.
There are many side stories to Antonia and Michele's friendship as well such as dealing with rejection, pain suffered by an AIDS patient. Some of these issues are delicately dealt and while some humorous. There is plenty of humour in this film. Never has it made me laugh out loud. We see quirky characters like Louiselle the quirky supermarket cashier, Serra the 'apartment secretary', Mara the drag queen turned transvetite, Ricky, Sandora and Emir, all of them add together the humouros elements and warmth. A special mention would be Antonia's mother whose opened and profound views on life and adultery really had my sides splitting. The main leads by Margherita Buy and Stefano Accorsi depicts two people coming in terms of both of their loved one's death are very well potrayed. The emotion and the passion is felt from these two actor's performances.
Cheers to Ozpetek for creating such a warm and sentimental film! Almost made me shed tears when the ending loomed.