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This 148-minute (far too long) film is so confusing that you're not sure at times if you're watching a film in 'real' time or watching flashbacks on flashbacks.
The movie is based on two real characters -- actors Luise Ferada (Monica Bellucci) and bombastic Osvaldo Valenti (Luca Zingaretta) -- who were big movie stars in fascist Italy before and during the Second World War. Despite the film's length, their motivations and personalities are never really explored. We know that they're cocaine users and so consumed with themselves that they are basically indifferent to the fascism that ultimately does them in.
This is a film that should be alive with the frenetic tempo and intrigue of the times, but it's instead oddly static. It is difficult to imagine at times that a war is going on all around the many characters who weave in and out of the frames -- so many in fact that the viewer starts losing track of who is a fascist, who is a resistance fighter (partisan) or who, like the lead characters, is basically a person who doesn't much care one way or the other.
This film should have been far more interesting, engrossing and exciting, but it settles instead for a confusing love affair and a strange, leisurely pacing that undermines the film throughout. The director, Marco Giordana, must take responsibility for this.
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