Review of L`amore Molesto
Delia (Anna Bonaiuto), a comic strip artist, receives a phone call from her mother Amalia (Angela Luce) in high spirits. Amalia was supposed to be travelling down to see Delia for her birthday, but instead is found washed up dead on a beach the following morning.
Delia travels to her native Naples for the funeral and then decides to stay on for a bit to try to work out what was happening in her mother`s life. Her father wasn`t present at her funeral, but nearby and at a distance was old family friend Caserta (Giovanni Viglietti). This awakens old family memories, mostly bad, and Delia struggles to remember exactly what happened when she was seven.
Nice clear picture that shows up Naples for the old worn busy city it really is, although it`s probably a metaphor by the director for something else entirely.
Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 mix in Italian with optional subtitles in English only. Not too much effort gone into this so clearly Arrow Films don`t believe that there`s a huge market for this film.
Well, this is a bit of a strange film. I assumed from the title, after the film had started, this was going to be the exploration of a deep family secret. Maybe it was, but it didn`t pull it off as it appears that the director or writer didn`t have the nerve or will to pursue it to the natural end. Of course, it may also have been deliberate, but it leaves the viewer none the wiser and feeling a little cheated.
The film goes through three distinct phases via the lead character. The first is Delia in her normal trouser suit, symbolising her current life where she is living her own life away from her family in Bologna. The second is where she puts on the red dress supposedly chosen for her birthday by her mother, this is where she immerses herself back into her old habitat in Naples and is trying to work out what happened to her mother through talking to old friends and trying to make sense of the disjointed old memories that come flooding back. The last is where she changes into an old two piece dress suit that belonged to her mother. This is the point where she either decides she`s had enough and will never find out what has happened or that the hinted at secrets are too painful to continue; I wasn`t exactly sure which, but she goes home to Bologna. The end.
I`m not really sure what Mario Martone was trying to do with this film, it really felt like a wasted opportunity. I really liked Anna Bonaiuto, but felt the pace of the film too languid and I was never completely sure what was going on. Still, maybe it was all just lost in translation as iMDB shows that this film won four Italian film awards and was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes upon release. I just can`t help feeling that was this was a waste of my time though…