Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.
On the day in 1940 that Italy enters the war, two things happen to the 12-year-old Renato: he gets his first bike, and he gets his first look at Malèna. She is a beautiful, silent outsider who's moved to this Sicilian town to be with her husband, Nino. He promptly goes off to war, leaving her to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the women. During the next few years, as Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malèna suffer and prove her mettle. He sees her loneliness, then grief when Nino is reported dead, the effects of slander on her relationship with her father, her poverty and search for work, and final humiliations. Will Renato learn courage from Malèna and stand up for her? Written by
The bike that Renato rides, suddenly has a modern derailleur-type chain tensioner at the rear at about 20-21 minutes into the film. At all other times, his bike has a fixed rear gear without the chain tensioner. See more »
[regarding Renato's incessant and loud masturbation sessions at night]
You are going to go blind!
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The movie is dedicated to Tornatore's Father See more »
I found the film to be visually hypnotic and very moving. I was also impressed with the film maker's story telling technique. The film brought me into the bustling street life of the Sicilian village by eye-level camera work and the comments of the people in crowded scenes, through which I was taken with the characters. Just like walking down a busy urban street anywhere with your ears and eyes open. The film made me wake up to the fact that so much American film, perhaps all contemporary film, is composed mainly of close ups with two or a few people. Not this film. There is a sequence with airplanes overhead that is absolutely dizzying without any fancy 3-D or pyrotechnic effects. Mr. Tornatore brilliantly uses silent stares, pairs of eyes and silly dream sequences with amazing effect. The male lead, an adolescent boy, is portrayed with great empathy by Giuseppe Sulfaro without schmaltz or sanitizing, so typical in American films about puberty. The title role, played well by a dazzling Monica Bellucci, could have been written for a young Sophia Loren. (My dream sequence, I guess) My favorite character was Renato's father, hilariously played by Luciano Federico. A must see.
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