I remember a story about a young man living in a country where nobody was very happy, nobody was very unhappy either. A friend of him had moved to another country and sent a letter about his new life. Once arrived in the new country he had been put in jail, for some minor offense or so. Well, he had color TV in prison, also plenty of food for breakfast. It seemed a formidable life there: the worst that could happen to you was access to color TV and a huge breakfast in the morning.
This story came to my mind as I was watching Calabuch: a rocket scientist disappears from his research laboratory (where people don't seem to be very happy, not very unhappy either), and goes to a small fishing village where nobody knows him. He is immediately arrested for loitering, but the prison is as idyllic as everything and everybody there. To be frank, there is no color TV (the movie was made in 1956), but otherwise the prison is merely a very convenient bed-and-breakfast. During the day you are free to walk outside. The villagers take the man for an old tramp and everybody sympathizes with him instantly. Prison, people, traditions, church, chess games and phone service, even corrida, all is idyllic.
Maybe the movie is like the story above: too idyllic to be true. Which means that the film director (like the guy who had sent the letter to his friend) intended actually to communicate that life was not that perfect after all.
Or maybe we shouldn't suspect the film director of any hidden intentions, that's also possible: what if he wanted to make just a funny movie? A special note for Edmund Gwenn. It was his last role in a feature film and he was as irresistible as he had been throughout all his long artistic career. Gwenn was 79 by that time.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?