She is every man’s wettest fantasy and every woman’s biggest envy, she is so impossibly beautiful, voluptuous and enigmatic that when she saunters out of her house, the whole town comes to a standstill, and yet, her jaw-dropping beauty becomes her greatest curse, making her an extremely lonely and a heavily misunderstood woman – yeah, that’s Malena for you. A bittersweet coming-of-age story of an adolescent Sicilian boy, who gets hopelessly enamored by an older woman during the turbulent times of Mussolini’s Italy, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena is reminiscent of another wonderful coming-of-age movie of his, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. Some critics have been irked by the so-called objectification of Malena’s character – but one must remember that the narrative is through the thirteen year old Renato’s eyes, and hence our perception of Malena is directly related to his; in that perspective Malena’s character has been developed exactly as it should have been. Monica Bellucci (she's one stunning beaut!) has done full justice to the role by balancing the character’s electrifying charm and sexuality with her fragile life and vulnerabilities. The director’s fine portrayal of inner workings of the kid’s mind (filled with vivid, erotic fantasizing) and the hypocritical, self-centered nature of society has been superbly aided by luscious photography, and the legendary Ennio Morricone’s evocative background score.
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore Genre: Comedy-Drama/Coming-of-Age/Romantic Drama Language: Italian Country: Italy