When Elena meets Montalbano for lunch at the restaurant, arriving in the Porsche, she is wearing a skin-colored bra under her gym gear. After lunch when they walk along the beach, the bra is gray. See more »
Complicated Episode Involving Infidelity, Passion and Drugs
This episode involves a complicated series of episodes with a beautiful woman Elena (Antonia Liskova), married to a much older man, and a series of unexplained deaths, most of which have been ascribed to 'heart attacks,' but which turn out to be something much more sinister.
What makes this detective series so eminently watchable is not so much the scripts - which tend to be become rather repetitive, especially in their use of Catarella (Angelo Russo) as an object of humor - but the skillful blend of location filming and performance- focused shooting-style. Series director Albertio Sironi realizes that he has an extremely powerful performer in Luca Zingaretti as Montalbano; and makes every effort to focus the viewers' attention on him. His range of facial expressions might be limited, but he has the capacity to quell anyone with just a glance. The police officers working under him might find him impossible sometimes; but they respect his authority.
Sironi also gives us an insight into Montalbano's often painful private life - although he is obviously attractive to women, he cannot seem to find the girl of his dreams. His long-standing relationship with Livia is now very much on the rocks; and all he can do is to enjoy a series of one-night stands, none of which lead to anything. Cooped up in his sunny seaside house, with very little company except for the endless crashing of the waves outside, Montalbano cuts an isolated figure, despite his professional success as a detective. This contrast between public and private selves helps sustain our interest in his future and keeps us watching.
The Sicilian locations have a lot to do with the series' success. With its winding streets and russet-roofed buildings, the town of Vigata looks too picturesque to be crime-ridden; but this is nothing more than a facade. The Mafia play a large part in determining the citizens' lifestyle; and although Montalbano and his team enjoy sporadic success in bringing criminals to justice, they cannot eradicate its influence altogether. All they can do is to continue their work as best they can.
Nonetheless the camera-work emphasizes the beauty of the location: Sironi is fond of the swooping aerial shot that captures the buildings and the sea in panorama, juxtaposed with tracking shots of the cramped yet obviously attractive buildings lining the narrow streets.
INSPECTOR MONTALBANO is one of those series which can become highly addictive; I look forward to seeing further episodes in due course.
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