Sunday, November 1, 2009

Una pura formalità (1994)

After watching Cinema Paradiso and Malèna, I look forward to see more works from director Giuseppe Tornatore. I saw a clip from Una pura formalità, a short scene where Roman Polanski and Gérard Depardieu went through a pile of old photos on the desk (can't really remember where, perhaps one of the extras from Cinema Paradiso DVD.). That time I thought that the movie must be boring. I was completely wrong. This movie, on the surface, was like a play where most of the scenes happened in one same place, but a play, imo, is when the actors shout to each other (so the audience can hear them better); and in this one, I didn't feel like watching a play.

I was surprised to find that Una pura formalità was not boring at all and almost 2 hours ran so fast. Gérard Depardieu runs in the middle of a storm and is caught by a group of police. He cannot give them any ID and is taken to the police station, a rotten place which leaks every where. The Inspector won't let him call anyone. He tells the inspector that he is Onoff, the famous writer, whom the inspector happens to adore. However, he seems to forget what he has been doing the day before and his story to the inspector keeps changing. Finally, the inspector tells him that there has been a murder nearby and that he is their prime suspect. "Is it possible to kill and not remember?" Onoff asks himself. He feels like a trapped rat in the device he sees in the police's wardrobe.

As the interrogation goes, the audience is taken to the murder scene and shown the victim. The ending is a shock and we will see that this is really a pure formality of the cinema.

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