May 21, 2011

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, 2001

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, 2001
Director: John Madden
Cast:Nicholas Cage, Penelope Cruz, John Hurt

Corelli's in short - In 1941, Italy allies with Germany and ruthlessly conquers the much weaker country of Greece. On a remote Greek island, an Italian artillery garrison is established to maintain order. One Italian officer, Captain Corelli, adopts an attitude of mutual co-existence with the Greeks and engages in such activities as music festivals and courting the daughter of a local doctor. In 1943, however, after Italy surrenders to the Allies and changes sides in the war, Captain Corelli must defend the Greek island against a German invasion.

Stage: Home TV selection on an exhausting day - in the evening, when everything in the day went wrong but the evening is fit to cope with this selection

Preps: I have started to watch this piece several times, but never finished, something always came up. Will this one be a lucky time?

Reality: The movie is one of the splendid pieces of misunderstood love in the time of war. And the cruelty of the war itself, making arlies, making enemies, turning someone into a friend or quite the opposite.. Movies like these always make me think about the origin of the war and all the men behind it. Repeat, all the men behind it. OK, I am aware of some of women, involved in several (or being at the back, dragging the curtains, while the men fought - like Cleopatra, Queens of England, etc.) However, the idea of having thousands of men out there fighting because someone told them to, losing the faith, belief, not knowing who to trust, stealing, raping, abusing.. and being away from their homes several years while doing all this, coming home as animals or at least other persons.., makes huge rage inside me. And the reason why this is necessary? I don't think it's necessary at all. In my romantic perspective I would make all wars dissappear. But, if I cannot do that or if this is truly unreal, then it's necessary to watch these kinds of movies and remember, where wars lead and what kind of monsters lie in each and everyone of us, if we are provoked the right way.
The movie somehow reminds me of Malena (with Monica Belucci, superb act in that piece). We have a woman figure that falls for the wrong man. Nothing really new about this - ever since Romeo and Juliet we have been seeing that kind of play. But every now and then, an extraordinary interpretation comes along. This is quite the one. Both of them aren't really meant to be stuck in this world of war. Cage, with his talent and love for music and she, the wannabe doctor, just trying not to fit at all in the show. A beautiful love story, filled with emotions and yearning, filled with all the wrong and the right things. And the idea, that the true love can last forever
The movie starts and ends with the same idea - community energy and love will take the people that are a part of it, a very long way. The dance in circle, to celebrate the feast of the season. The energy that was lost in the war comes back once again.
Are friends really friends in times of war? You can be certain that after seeing this "romance", you will for sure have some doubts in your head. Did nazis fight with italians? For sure. But did they also kill them? Of course. It just depends on the time slot you are looking at. The movie is one big historical "factogram" how the Greeks saw the whole deal (and all the islands for that matter).
The quote I love the most in the piece: You fall in love and out of love through the eyes. Because you fall in love with a person, not the body.

My personal rating: 8,0 (a strong piece, filled with things to think about)

Captain on IMDB

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