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In 1941, Italy allies with Germany and ruthlessly conquers the much weaker country of Greece. On a remote Greek island, an Italian artillery garrison is established to maintain order. One Italian officer, Captain Corelli, adopts an attitude of mutual co-existence with the Greeks and engages in such activities as music festivals and courting the daughter of a local doctor. In 1943, however, after Italy surrenders to the Allies and changes sides in the war, Captain Corelli must defend the Greek island against a German invasion. Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
The main problem with 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' is that it focuses primarily on the romance between Corelli and Pelagia and that too is half-baked. What is it that draws Pelagia towards him is too unclear. Is it just his musical talent or his zest? The film is set against the backdrop of a war between the Germans and Italians in a Greek island but the war is given less significance and what we see appears very sketchy. The entire film appears too sketchy, melodramatic and clichéd. Much of it is also historically inaccurate.
On the technical front it is well executed. The cinematography of the beautiful exotic locations is breathtaking. The score is terrific. Where acting is concerned, Penelope Cruz can't seem to lose her Spanish accent (she's playing a Greek character) but her performance is otherwise wonderful. John Hurt and Christian Bale are equally marvelous. Nicolas Cage is a miscast. His Italian accent, energetic personality, overdone non-verbal gestures all yield to a caricature rather than a character.
Perhaps director John Madden was pressured to fit the entire novel into a two hour period and he chose to focus on the romance more to draw a larger crowd. I can't shake the feeling that perhaps someone like Anthony Mingella would have made a better and more complete film of it.
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