I remember one of my friends said, ‘If Beauty was a crime, She is a great criminal’.
Malèna (Italian film, released 15 years back), helmed by Giuseppe Tornatore, artistically explores the aforementioned statement.
Set in Sicily during the historical World War 2 events, Malèna Scordia [played by Monica Bellucci] is the beautiful wife of an Military man, who leaves her alone to serve for his nation. Not even once he would’ve imagine his wife could be the subject of lust behind his back. Her eternal beauty receives diverse reaction in the town, while men in the town finds her completely irresistible, women, in fit of anger and jealously, view her as home-breaker.
Comes into the picture, a 12 year old boy Renato [Played by Giuseppe Sulfarno] , who gets fixated to Malèna and starts fantasizing her in his dream. He sees himself as her protector, gets disappointed and hurt to hear town people say worst things about her because he is possibly the only one who knew exactly who she is.
After loosing her husband and Father in the war events, Malena is terribly shattered emotionally and financially, forces her to become a hooker to make ends meet, from thereon, changing her perception about life.
Malèna is certainly one of the most sensitive film I have come across, You see all the events unfolding through the eyes of Renato. There are so many poignant moments which touches your heart-strings instantly, but the one that soars is the scene where Malena passes by the road crowded by school boys enchanted by her presence. It’s one of the most gorgeously shot sequences in the cinematic art.
Director GIUSEPPE TORNATORE comes up with a feel-good-story and eludes sentimentality in the romantic portion so convincingly. He throws light on Sexual fantasy and breaks the barrier of conventionality, exploring a child’s psyche with flourish. One can safely say, it’s narrated in a poetic form. Italy is captured beautifully in lens and Background score evokes the surreal emotions, drawing our attention to our leads.
MONICA BELLUCCI uses her smoldering beauty to create a flesh and blood out of Malena, She hardly delivers any dialogues but she is delightfully easy on eye. She is not only gorgeous in every frame but also lives character with elan. GIUSEPPE SULFARNO is excellent as Sexually fixated kid Renato, He effortlessly plays the challenging role with maturity.
In the end, Malèna strikes a right chord from the word ”go”.. Strongly recommended !!