16 August 2005

Le Conseguenze dell'Amore (Consequences of Love)



It's probably a good thing that I was away when we went to see this (in a wondefully tiny screen in an old school in the Lake District) as it's meant I've had a bit of time to work out what I thought of the movie, and what the hell actually happened.

Lets precis.

An oldish bloke, Titta, spends his life living quietly in a Swiss hotel. He talks to almost no one, the elderly former owners of the hotel being an exception, tho they barely comuniate either. The young waitress Sofia tries to engage him in conversation, but he keeps ignoring her. there are a lot of silences in this film, at times it seemed like the speakers had gone in the cinema.

Slowly it becomes apparent that Titta works for the mafia. Having screwed up on a big investment for them when he was a legitimate broker, he now acts as their bag man. He has no life. His wife left him ten years ago, taking the kids who no longer even can be bothered to speak to him. He has a younger brother, who he clearly doesnt like, and a memory of a neighbour from twenty years ago, who he still describes as his best friend. He is a very very lonely man, one without any imagination. Everything, it seems, has been sucked from him.

Until he finally acquiesces and speaks to Sofia, after which he has to start considering what the consequences of love might actually be.

And what are they? Well, it's bloody hard to say from this, or even whether he actually had any concept of what love is anyway. His fate seems more determined by the consequences of boredom than love to me, but perhaps they are the same thing? Ultimately there is, of course, tragedy, and more loneliness, which only comes after putting yourself on the line for....something. Whether the object of Tittas desire really returns his feelings divide me and mrs belboid, there were indications in both directions, which only throw up the question of what is meant by love anyway? Another prison in which Titta is trapped? One, again, not of his own making, over which he has any power or control? Whichever, it is a feeling you must give in to.

There's a point where Titta is pulling a fast one, where he says something like 'if you're going to bluff, you've got to go all the way', and that seems to be the 'message' of the film (to the extent it has one). IN life, in love, you gotta go all the way, whichever way you choose, or your life will be wasted.

There is much to enjoy in the film, the soundtrack is superb, its use of silence as strong as those within the script itself. When there actually is any dialogue its very sharp and to the point, words are not there to be wasted. It's only life that gets wasted.

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