Irene, a workaholic, is forced to re-evaluate her priorities after the suicide of her two best friends.Irene, a workaholic, is forced to re-evaluate her priorities after the suicide of her two best friends.Irene, a workaholic, is forced to re-evaluate her priorities after the suicide of her two best friends.
The whole work is permeated by a sense of palpable need of sacrality, very uncomfortable on account of many destabilizing sequences where Ferzan Ozpeteck invites us to look away from the riches of the world and cast a glance beyond our limited horizons, towards new risky dimensions, to those outcasts of fortune claiming in a faint voice the right to live a decent life. The director goes over and over this subject again, defined by himself as a sort of "soul thriller". The human soul is showed in all its nuances by the character of Irene, the beautiful Barbara Bobulova (as a substitute for Valeria Golino, the best Italian actress together with Giovanna Mezzogiorno).
IRENE LOOKS LIKE AN ARABIAN PHOENIX risen from the ashes of her condition of lacking feeling woman, symbol of capitalistic exploitation, young restless soul in a vertical dive towards cathartic experiences, unceasingly followed by the camera in many stunning sequences. WOOED by the mechanic eye like a delicious lover truly deserving all possible attentions lavished on her. FONDLED and PETTED incessantly, thank to extended and inquisitive close-ups, in her pauses for reflection, in her moments of silence, in her excitements and internal tensions, with her stare of astonishment suspended in the void of an hypothetical space and her nude and defenseless face vowed to silence. Faithfully FOLLOWED in her wanderings with soft long takes in a sinuous circular movement of the camera, as a sacrificial victim at the mercy of the onlookers' eyes. CELEBRATED by an amazing soundtrack in a successful attempt at carrying into effect her way of redemption. IMMORTALIZED as a living symbol of Michelangelo's Pieta, extreme evidence of the folly of self-giving love, of the solidarity heralding her thirst for justice to the whole world, rebelling against every prevailing logic imbued with the worship of wealth. SUPPORTED by documentary evidence in her fits of giddiness thank to hyper-kinetics movements of camera in a cold, alienating swimming pool. Impiteously VIOLATED in her privacy and handed over to the media's morbid curiosity in her cathartic moments of physical and moral denouement, extreme final act of gift of herself and her belongings, with the chaste nakedness of her spotless bosom revealed and offered for all the hurried passers-by to see, as a token of her salvific spirit of sacrifice and of her sense of self-denial towards a world pervaded with deep sorrow and suffering.
Scenes from a cathartic journey of darkness, regret and redemption orchestrated by another side of Ozpetek: the director sets aside his particular concept of "family" to devote himself to a moving project, to something that strikes us with a deep-rooted feeling and infuses courage into our hearts inspiring hope in our spirits. To something new that makes up our minds to cast a new glance at the life through Irene's sea blue eyes, towards more winding directions, inviting us to cast reflections on ourselves.
- May 21, 2005