The son of the owner of a large Italian cheese factory is kidnapped, but as the factory is on the verge of bankruptcy the owner hatches a plan to use the ransom money as reinvestment in the...
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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,
The son of the owner of a large Italian cheese factory is kidnapped, but as the factory is on the verge of bankruptcy the owner hatches a plan to use the ransom money as reinvestment in the factory.Written by
Tony Bowden <email@example.com>
Interesting if not quite compelling, with tonal shifts from drama to near farcical satire
Well acted by Ugo Tognanzzi as a self made cheese factory owner whose son is apparently kidnapped, although we can see there's a real possibility the kidnapping was staged so the son could raise money for left-wing causes he supports. Most of the film is about Tognazzi dealing with the kidnapping by pondering selling his factory, and getting to know two go betweens who may or may not have there own agendas (the son's girlfriend, and a leftist sort-of priest), as well as dealing with his wife, Anouk Aimee, who is far more anxious to sell everything they own to pay the kidnappers than the more cynical and wily Tognazzi.
What was hard for me was that, unlike it's spiritual forerunner "The Spider's Strategem", the more satirical, lighter-toned edge seems to work against the drama and vice versa. None-the- less this is interesting and thought provoking. And if not among Bertolucci's greatest works, still well worth seeing.
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