21 December 2017 | nmegahey
Anna lives in a very scary world, and no it's not just because she lives in Naples, which admittedly is scary enough. Giuseppe Gaudino's Per Vostro Amor rather shows us the world in Anna's head as she experiences it, and it's a world of tension, fear, violent drama and heightened emotion. So yes, ok, it's a bit like living in Naples, and with its unusual hyper-stylised effects, Per Amor Vostro manages to capture both the nature of Anna's inner turmoil and life for ordinary people in Naples.
Anna (Valerina Golino) works for a TV company providing prompt boards for actors, living from one contract to another. She's just been assigned to a romantic teledrama, where she attracts the attention of the romantic lead actor, Michele (Adriano Giannini). Anna initially resists, as she has enough problems at home with her crazy children, one of whom is a deaf-mute, and an estranged husband Gigi (Massimiliano Gallo), who is a bit of a thug, involved in loan-sharking with local gangsters. But Michele is insistent and it offers Anna the chance of escape from a crazy world.
There's drama enough in Anna's life, and it all seeps out into nightmarish visions. Her former colleague Ciro harasses her one the street over losing his job and having debts to pay, the bus is filled with nightmarish Fellini-esque characters who whisper ominously and chant, as water washes around her feet. Clouds gather at the edges of her vision, as Vesuvius threatens to erupt across the bay. It's a living nightmare.
Director Giuseppe M.Gaudino styles this aspect of the film with eccentric touches, quirky songs and explosions of colour in a predominately b&w film that is shot in claustrophobic close-up. The effects do go somewhat overboard and are non-naturalistic, but it's a deliberate choice made to jarring and be completely at odds with any kind of realism. It also pushes Valerina Golino's performance to extraordinary lengths to become a living embodiment of the religious icons you see on the streets of Naples. It's entirely appropriate, and succeeds in an intense yet refreshing way.