Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Baarìa (2009)

After succeeded with Cinema Paradiso, Malèna, The Unknown Woman; it was time for director Giuseppe Tornatore to make the movie about his homeland: Baarìa (=Sicilian slang for Bagheria, a town in Palermo, Italy). I must say that after watching his other great works, Baarìa was not as good as I had expected. The opening scene - which showing a little boy being sent to buy a pack of cigarettes and ended up flying above the town – and the ending scene – showing another little boy (the first boy’s father) wake up in class’s corner, got out to find the town had changed a lot and crossed path with the first boy – seemed ridiculous and a bit confusing. Tornatore did mention that the movie was a comedy.

Peppino (Francesco Scianna) sending his love to his lover
We followed the story of Peppino Torrenuova, who lived with his father Cicco, his older brother Nino, and his mother. The story started at the time when Italy was under Mussolini’s reign. Little Peppino worked with Nino in a plantation, then became a shepherd. The injustice done to his father by a rich landowner made him joined the communist party. He married his girlfriend Mannina, although the girl’s parents didn’t like him because he was poor. To them – and also to Peppino’s children later – Peppino was not doing a real work. Only years later, Peppino could get an important place in the communist party and he hoped for a better Italy for his children.

The story had many interesting characters, they were souvenirs from the director’s memories. I am not sure what was wrong, perhaps the movie needed more screentime because the scenes changed and jumped from one another quite fast. It was about 2 hours and 20 minutes long though – which was quite long, so perhaps it needed more focus on certain things and things which were unimportant could have been cut out.

An American soldier gives Mannina a parachute. What for?
It can make clothes for a lot of kids.

The director didn't forget to include this tribute for Cinema Paradiso.

No comments: