I find this an annoying little film with a frustrating story (what there is of it) that leads everywhere yet nowhere and at the end we learn that it is all about freedom and the desirability of being a free spirit.
Two young men Berto and Mario search for their father after he abandons them at an early age and becomes a drifter. Berto also leaves the family home so Mario is left with his mother. After six years Berto comes back and the brothers begin another search together. Berto promises Mario that he will eventually meet his father. Mario is full of questions about his father and brother, but Berto consantly avoids giving direct answers.
This negative attitude continues throughout the film and when finally the brothers find their father in Lisbon. one wonders what all the fuss has been about. The father explains to his sons that he acted as he did so that they too may one day follow his example as a free spirit.
The characters of Berto and Mario are competently played. Mario's facial expressions are interesting, his dark eyes in cloe-up something to behold and the cameraman obviously recognises this. It's a great pity these good actors are not blessed with a more sensible script.
Freedom to do as one likes has a selfish uncaring element about it, but personal freedom has its own set of responsibilities to others. Even the father admits to this in the end and acknowledges that he has a family.
Geraldine Chaplin plays the part of the mother, a rather withdrawn person who never spoke to her husband, likes to eat only vegetarian food, rejects all additives and is a true pacifist who also likes to paint so that she can be alone. All in all a pretty odd family. On analysis one wonders if perhaps she is the main reason why her husband hit the road.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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