Bernardo Bertolucci, along with co-scenarist Gianni Amico, used Dostoievski's 1846, pre-imprisonment novella The Double: A Petersburg Poem, which they moved to Italy and updated to the pro-Vietcong student-protest present,
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The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but bourgeois Clelia, and stung by the drowning of his mercurial friend Agostino, a possible suicide. Gina is herself a bundle of nervous energy, alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted, and unhinged. They begin a love affair after Agostino's funeral, then Gina confuses Fabrizio by sleeping with a stranger. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina's older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize contrasting images of Italy's future. Their own futures are bleak.Written by
Perhaps you had to be born 'before the revolution' to fully appreciate this movie.
No question about it that this is a well made film but is it also an interesting one? Not really in my opinion. It doesn't really tell a story and it's hard to say really what point the movie tried to make, if any.
It's more a movie that focuses on its themes, rather than telling a story. It does make this movie confusing to follow at times, since you have no idea what the movie is trying to do or say at times but overall the movie remains still a fascinating one. It's an absorbing movie really, that is well made and put together by its, at the time, 22-year old director Bernardo Bertolucci.
Directing-wise this movie is quite an accomplishment, especially when you're also taking into consideration that this was only Bernardo Bertolucci's second movie. The characters, the actors and some of the sequences are directed really well. Even when you don't understand or like this movie, you'll surely still notice this.
Guess you could interstate this movie in different ways. You could take it as a coming of age movie, as well as a reverse coming of age movie, in which one characters wants progress and change, while the other doesn't want anything to change and actually rather go back in time. Change is really the keyword for this movie. It's filled with references to changes, while new times get welcomed and old times slowly become a thing of the past.
But having said all this, the story still doesn't really make a lasting impression with anything. No real questions are asked in it, since the movie is more often too busy providing answers to things that never really got questioned in the first place. Some more focus and development of the main plot line and its characters wouldn't had harmed the movie.
Not an interesting movie to watch but it can still be a fascinating one at times, as weird as this might sound.
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