24 August 2018 | dierregi
Well-meaning but suffering from the same ambiguity it reproaches in its main character
The theme of twins exchanging roles is certainly not a new one (Shakespeare anyone?) and in this movie it is used in the contest of the disastrous Italian political and social situation.
Enrico, the leader of the left wing, is dour and introverted. Popular ratings are down and the party blames him for their failure. Under too much pressure, Enrico decides to seek shelter in Paris, crashing into the life of ex lover Danielle, presently married and mother of one.
Enrico's assistant finds out by chance about the existence of an estranged twin brother, the mad philosopher Giovanni, and convinces him to replace Enrico.
Giovanni is outspoken, extroverted and full of philosophical quotes that mean everything and their opposite. Thanks to his way of dealing with the media he gathers huge support.
If anything, this tale should make one despair about the imperfections of democracy (voters choosing a party only because the leader is more "simpatico") and the power of extroversion - even if it is somehow implied that with Giovanni it's not just the way to convey the message, but also the content that changes...
Servillo plays both twins - as one would expect - and although he manages to make "them" almost believable as two different people, I still did not like his performance. I liked even less Bruni Tedeschi as ex-lover Danielle: her character is a ditzy, flaky blonde enjoying a decadent (and cliche') French marriage - the type foreigners imagine as quite common in France, with an abundance of lovers and questionable casual affairs.
The other characters have less screen space, but I liked them more, because I found them better interpreted and believable.
The ending is predictably "open": this could mean that nobody knew how to end the lightweight script - or even worse and ironically - nobody wanted to commit to any definite message, despite the fact that ambiguity is the main reproach against Giovanni (and more generally, against the Italian left wing).