Release Date: November 11th, 2005 (NYC-Cinema Village) by Wellspring Media.
The Cast: Luigi Lo Cascio, Maya Sansa, Roberto Herlitzka, Pier Giogio Bellocchio, Giovanni Calcagno, Paolo Briguglia.
Directed by Marco Bellocchio.
In Italian with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: In 1978, members of the Communist Red Brigade kidnap Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro (Herlitzka). Based on a true story.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The beginning of the film is engaging as Mariano (Cascio), head of the Red Brigade, and Chiara (Sansa) kidnap Aldo Moro and hold him hostage. They basically want to generate attention in order to make revolutionary social reforms in Italy. What could have easily been a political thriller is surprisingly more of a psychological drama because it focuses on Chiara’s reactions to the kidnapping and how it affects her life. She often feels like she doesn’t belong to the group, but she’s afraid to speak up. The plot becomes slightly more complex when Enzo (Briguglia), her colleague, wants to join the Red Brigades. Most of the film is predictable, except for an inventive last scene with an interesting, playful twist. Roberto Herlitzka is well cast and gives a decent performance as Aldo Moro despite being mostly silent. Unfortunately, there is little suspense as the nation awaits the capture and arrest of the Red Brigade members. The slow pace drags the film a bit, but the expert cinematography, such as scenes shot through a key-hole, gives the film an interesting style.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Even though Chiara joins the Red Brigade, she doesn’t feel like she belongs to it with her heart and soul. In a moving scene, she tries to communicate with Aldo Moro behind the others’ back. When she finds out that they want to kill him, she objects, but, unfortunately, there’s no help in convincing a revolutionist group to be passive. Fundamentally, Chiara feels stuck in a group that she can’t get out of without risking her own life. Does that make her a good person? Not really, but at least she attempts to use reason during a time of chaos and corruption.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: An occasionally dragging pace with no suspense.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
THE BOTTOM LINE: A well-shot, somewhat moving film that occasionally drags.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (2nd Run)
The "G" Menu