The son of the owner of a large Italian cheese factory is kidnapped, but as the factory is on the verge of bankruptcy the owner hatches a plan to use the ransom money as reinvestment in the... See full summary »
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Bernardo Bertolucci, along with co-scenarist Gianni Amico, used Dostoievski's 1846, pre-imprisonment novella The Double: A Petersburg Poem, which they moved to Italy and updated to the pro-Vietcong student-protest present,
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The son of the owner of a large Italian cheese factory is kidnapped, but as the factory is on the verge of bankruptcy the owner hatches a plan to use the ransom money as reinvestment in the factory. Written by
Tony Bowden <email@example.com>
I see this film in straight connection with La Strategia del ragno also directed by Bertolucci 11 years before this one. Only with characters inversion, meaning that in this one the father goes along find out things about his son, hidden things, beyond what he looked like. In the 1970 film it is the son who finds out the life of his late father, his hidden secrets. Still I found the older movie much more appealing, in terms of the plot itself but also in terms of the direction also. It is obvious that a good plot estimulates direction but still this one could have been better. It has from times to times the quality seal from Bertolucci, but in general it's not as good as others. The end is very delayed, the film could have less 20 minutes that it would be better to watch. Some beautiful images along the time, as usual in Bertolucci, but than again somewhat meaningless as they are not many times in the context of the story.
Though the film touches some important issues, such as terrorism in Italy's 1980'. Also interesting in exploring how a man can 'use the blood' of his own son just to get himself out of a difficult financial position. Not much more than this. It's worth watching if you like Bertolucci or if you have special interest in italian cinema. But don't judge the director just on this one. It is unfair, specially if we think that his second film after this one was The Last Emperor...
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