16 April 2006 | nolanjwerner
This should have been a great film
I wish I could say that this was a great film because there really were a lot of things that one could like about it.
As it turns out, however, it is a good, but flawed film. I will give this film a recommendation, I think it is worth seeing.
The film made a number of incredible social statements. It really cuts to the quick about the nature of society, the people who can manipulate the system on both sides are in collusion with each other to keep their privilege. The people who are on the outside find themselves on the outside, looking in. They can be taken under someone's wing but they are never really more then a pet, the Jimmy Olsen to someone's Superman.
The film had spectacular acting, particularly from the lead.
So what then keeps the film from being great? One of the biggest problems comes from the episodic and picaresque structure of the film. It has the kind of structure that is more interesting because of its discontinuity then because of its continuity. And while it makes for a lot of interesting discussions, this could turn a lot of people off, probably even more then the subtitles.
Honestly, the problem is that it begins with Caterina being pulled in many directions and it allows us to see facets of her through these different social lenses. The trouble is that we never get a baseline reading on her in the beginning before she moves to Rome. This is done very well but we never get the impression of her as anything more then a tablet that the ideologies of others are being written on, even at the end of the film when she supposedly finds herself. I won't give a spoiler as to how but the ending that someone else commented was her in her element is really just another case of this.
You know what, I've changed my mind. This is a wonderful film to watch. Its a spectacular way to look at what life is really like when you are outside the powerful and privileged circles of society and you can only be influenced by the ideologies of others but you really lack any voice of your own.
Watch this along with Welcome to the Dollhouse and see what life was like for the rest of us. Let this film show you the social cliques, collusion and ideology and let Solondz show you the sheer cruelty of a society that, as J. G. Ballard said, normalized psychopathy. And see it for what it really is, not some sugarcoated network television version (I think you guys know what very popular television series I'm talking about).