Thursday 20 December 2012

Journey to Italy [1954]

Of the 5 films that Roberto Rosellini made with Ingrid Bergman between 1950 and 1954, Journey to Italy’s reputation is second only to Stromboli. A searing portrait of a marriage in severe crisis, the film was possibly a reflection of the Italian neorealist’s marriage with the Swedish actress. The film opens with a wealthy Britisher Alex Joyce (George Sanders), and his beautiful wife Katherine (Bergman), travelling across the Italian countryside to a place near Naples, in order to sell a villa that he has inherited. In the opening sequence itself it becomes clear that all isn’t well between them and that Katherine is still hopeful of resurrecting their old spark despite Alex’s deep-set jadedness and ennui. Over the course of the next few days the chasm widens to a near irreparable state – the cynical and emotionally closed Alex prefers hanging out with fellow British tourists, while the lonely Katherine, craving for human connect, is resigned to visit alone to Vesuvius, Pompei and the museums. The reconciliation between the two in the final sequence, when they get stuck in a religious procession, seemed too hasty and sudden to be realistic; nonetheless, it was also obvious that the death of their marriage has only been postponed for now. The emotional disconnect between the two, made starker on account of them being away from the bustle of city life, was portrayed with great precision, sharpness and nuance. The scene where Katherine tries in futility to evoke Alex's empathy by speaking of a former suitor, was quite affecting. The film’s restraint and minimalism, and usage of locales to complement their disillusionments, were particularly noteworthy.

Director: Roberto Rosellini
Genre: Drama/Marriage Drama
Language: English/Italian
Country: Italy

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This movie should be watched by every person who wants to travel to Italy and want to have good experience in life. It covered very beautiful places in Italy. But since the movie was made in 1954, everything in Italy has changed. Don't forget to bring Italy Road Map with you if you want to visit all the nice places in that country.