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In Peru in the eighteenth century. Camilla, the star of a theater company, hesitates between three men. The Viceroy gives her his magnificent golden coach. A young Spanish officer suggests the two of them settle down together among Indians. Ramon, a torero, offers her a share of his glory. Written by
Vincent Merlaud <email@example.com>
An Italian Commedia dell'arte troupe ends up in Peru to entertain the court of Lima with intrigues and consequences..
This is Jean Renoir at his most gorgeous and playful, although he was already getting old when this was made as an enthusiastic tribute to "Commedia dell'arte" staging Anna Magnani as the ultimate primadonna and diva, who in spite of her over-maturity attracts even a king to court her simply by her stardom as an overwhelming actress. The story is silly, of course, and not at all credible and gets steadily more ridiculous all the time, some scenes are actually quite trying for their tedious imbecility, but all comedies are like that - they are never serious, and in comedy everything is allowed, especially silliness. The outstanding merit of the film is how it brings the Commedia dell'arte alive and seemingly more alive than ever - the first theatre scenes are like fireworks in their ebullient sprightliness and a joy both to the eye and the intellect for being so rich in their apparent improvisations with new whims all the time, but it's actually nothing but mastery of expert direction, and jean Renoir knew all about that. Treat it for what it is, a hilarious comedy out of this world, and forbear with the impossible intrigue and hopeless failures of turn-outs that try your patience - Anna Magnani compensates fully for them all with her delightful troupe, where the children are an additional wonder to a gloriously preposterous performance.
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