Lorenzo, who's 16 and born to a wealthy family in Parma, tries to make things right toward a showgirl, Aida, whom his older brother has mistreated. In extending kindness and standing up for... See full summary »
Lorenzo, who's 16 and born to a wealthy family in Parma, tries to make things right toward a showgirl, Aida, whom his older brother has mistreated. In extending kindness and standing up for her, he comes of age. But, is there anything he can do that will alter Aida's situation or her prospects? Written by
Zurlini introduces a familiar theme, a futile relationship with an older woman and a younger man, perfected in his later film `Violent Summer,' but here Aida, Claudia Cardinale, plays a nighclub singer who is jilted in the opening moments of the film and spends the rest of the film searching for a way out of the stereotypical relationship of a beautiful woman using, and being used by men, a dependent and unhealthy relationship. When Marcello, a cad who lives in a lavish estate, tells his 16 year old younger Lorenzo, Jacques Perrin, to get rid of the girl, the younger brother's interest turns from bewilderment to unbridled obsession, as the high-strung, free-spirited girl surprisingly is flattered by his attention and by her belief that he has money, contrasting the obvious class distinction between the two, he lives in a statue-filled estate with his family, she lives alone out of a suitcase in a hotel room. The adults in the film are overly stern and heartless, represented by the familiar Zurlini statues which can be seen throughout his entire body of work; this lifelessness is contrasted against the passion of youth. The relationship comes to a screeching halt with the intervention of the family priest who questions Aida's motives with such a young and impressionable boy, urging her to move on. This is a brilliant scene where they speak in what appears to be a museum construction area, broken statues lie about with other scattered debris as the priest tries to reconstruct the spiritual direction of the young lovers, urging them to go their separate ways. This leads Aida into the arms of another conniving man who attempts to seduce her with plenty of money and alcohol, but Lorenzo arrives, refuses to butt out, gets his butt kicked by the older man, which leads to this extraordinarily long, beautifully evolving scene on the beach where the two lovers are caught up in the mysteries of their own futility, a kind of existential despair, surrounded by the wonderment of nature. This film constantly shifts the focus on who is the victim and who is to blame, in the end there are no answers, just a continuous search.
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