The actors Ben Gazzara and Ornella Muti were a successful team in Marco Ferreri's Tales of Ordinary Madness" in 1981, so they made another movie together during the following year. This time, Muti plays Nicole, a girl desperate to get attention; in the opening scene at the beach, she pretends she's drowning so that someone will pick her up! Nicole falls in love with the much older cartoonist Romani (Gazzara), and even though he notices that she is telling him lies constantly, for example that she'd be rich and happy or about to be married, he doesn't realize to what extent she lost touch with reality: actually, Nicole needs treatment by a psychiatrist. She tells Romani she's flying to London, but actually she enters a mental hospital. She has prepared letters her sister can send from London, so while Romani reads them and thinks she's fine, she is suffering terribly among lunatics. When he finds out the truth, what will he do?
The Girl From Trieste" doesn't have the provocative punch of a Bukowski story like Tales of Ordinary Madness", arguably Campanile was a more conservative director than Ferreri, anyway. The locations of Trieste and Venice could have been put to better use, since these cities live so much in the past (visiting them is close to time travel) that a more surreal, uneasy feeling could have been created. I'm not saying The Girl From Trieste" is a bad movie, but maybe it doesn't entirely satisfy. It holds a lot of interest with its two unpredictable characters, worth watching for Muti fans anytime. With more than 10 years experience in movies already, she reached the height of her beauty and acting skill in the early 80s.
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