It's sometime during WWII. Italian national, Neapolitan Pasqualino Frafuso, is a big talking layabout who has grand ideas of his importance, especially in upholding the honor of his family consisting of his mother and his less than attractive seven sisters. He admits to himself that he too is less than handsome, but believes he nonetheless attracts the romantic interest of most women. It is in he upholding the honor of his sisters that he often calls himself Pasqualino Settebellezze, translated Pasqualino "Seven Beauties". Having gone AWOL from military service, he has just gotten off a train as a stowaway in an unknown locale having just met another AWOL soldier, Francesco, they believing they somewhere in Germany, which is indeed a correct assumption. In relaying his less than direct "point A to point B" story in how he arrived at this point in time to Francesco, Pasqualino tells one in which every conscious decision was what he thought would be the path of greatest ease for himself...Written by
A wild, bleak extravaganza in which our Everyman learns to shed everything--even the honor that was the one thing he had--for survival. There's a near-perfect use of images--for example, the use of bright flowered dresses to signify that yet another sister has become a whore--and an equally perfect use of sound, silence, and music. A very, very dark comedy that is largely summed up in the opening sequence, a long litany of those who are to blame. I quote only a few lines: "the ones who don't enjoy themselves even when they laugh. . . the ones who should have been shot in the cradle (pow!). . . the ones who have never had a fatal accident.. . the ones who have had one. . ."
Avoid the dubbed version; it's terrible.
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