Sunday, August 29, 2010

Le notti bianche (1957)

Two years ago I saw clips from Le notti bianche in a RAI documentary about Luchino Visconti and at that time thought that the movie seemed boring. However as I had collected several Visconti works on DVD and it happened that last month this movie was on 50% discount, I thought I would try to watch it because in it there was Maria Schell, whom I thought was great in Gervais.

I just finished watching the movie and I must say that I like it very much. It's a beautiful story in a beautiful setting. It's about dream and hope.

On his way home, Mario sees a girl crying on a bridge. He offers if he can takes her home, thus begins a friendship between them. They promise to meet again the next night, then she tells him that she has been waiting for her lover, who has promised to meet her on that bridge. Her name is Natalia and her lover was a tenant in her house. One night the tenant took her, her grandmother, and her servant to an opera; and the next day he told her he was going away and that he would be back in a year. Mario thinks Natalia is crazy, for during the one year there is not any news from the tenant. "We agreed not no write to each other," she says. Mario tells her to stop waiting and ask her to learn to love him instead.

But who is dreaming? Who is having a false hope? Mario or Natalia? Among all the movie I have seen, this is certainly one of the most romantic. In the end, as the white snow falls, it seems that a new hope is born - as it turns out, but only for one of them.

Marcello Mastroianni usually plays annoying characters, but in this one, I really sympathize with his character. I wanted Mario to live happily ever after with Natalia and that the tenant never came.

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