Sunday, September 23, 2012

676. Tre fratelli/Three Brothers (1981)

Running Time: 105 minutes
Directed By: Francesco Rosi
Written By: Tonino Guerra, Francesco Rosi
Main Cast: Philippe Noiret, Michele Placido, Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Charles Vanel, Marta Zoffoli


Started watching this one last night, but getting up at 7am can really work on your eyelids, so I was forced to finish it this morning.

Raffaele (Noiret), Rocco (Mezzogiorno) and Nicola Giuranna (Placido) all receive telegrams from their father, Donato Giuranna (Vanel), informing them of their mother's death. At the time, the three brothers are all dealing with issues of their own. Raffaele, a judge prepared to accept a terrorism case, risks assassination if he accepts and presides over the case. The middle son, Rocco, is the director of a home for troubled youths and the youngest son, Nicola, is dealing with the crumbling of his marriage, a marriage that has produced one child, Marta (Zoffoli). The three brothers return home, to the family farm, where they reflect on their lives, try to reconnect with their past and of course, say goodbye to their mother. Donato uses the time to reflect on his many years of marriage, recalling some of the sweeter moments that he spent with his late wife. By the time we reach the film's finale, all three brothers experience lucid dreams about the troubles that surround them.

I'll try to keep this review short and sweet today, because really I don't have a whole lot to say about this one. As the film began, I have to say that I wasn't that impressed with it. Instead of dealing with three brothers returning home for their mother's funeral and at the same time, trying to reconnect with each other and their past, the film goes a different route, mixing in current (at the time), social issues that plagued Italy. If you know me then you know that I'm not one for mixing political issues with my films and all the terrorism talk in this one really took away from the more light-hearted, sweeter moments. What is it with foreign filmmaker's and their obsession to include certain, real life issues in their films? I mean, I liked the idea of giving each brother their own problem to deal with, aside from the death of their mother, but I would've enjoyed it better had they down played the conversations that dealt with these certain issues.

On the other hand, the film wasn't bad in the least. I actually enjoyed a lot of the cinematography, the light, barely there score and the acting. I could see this film growing on me with time and me forgetting my nitpicking and just accepting it for what it is. Keep your eye on Michele Placido (Nicola), perhaps the best of the lot of actor's on parade here. The scene where he goes to see his estranged wife was a particular favorite of mine, very simply and very dialogue driven - right up my alley. Also, the scenes where Donato lay in bed with his granddaughter, reflecting on certain, key moments in he and his wife's life was also very sweet and very sad.

RATING: 6.5/10  Not fantastic, but not horrible either, so it gets a thumbs up from me. It was a film that was really hard to dislike, because it encompassed a lot of what I look for in cinema, but also had a little of what I dislike.


September 23, 2012  1:27pm

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