Reflecting surfaces; camerawork punctiliously depicting Mastroianni amidst an environmentally degraded Rome; vivid, dishonorable remembrances indicative of one's moral failure within post-fascism Italy: Petri is attempting to grasp the nature of what ethical reckoning entails on both a social & an individual level. Though his viewpoint is dangerously close to cynicism, Petri's purpose is honorable. Where is virtue?
First Elio Petri full-length film. Reminded me of Hitchcock's 'The Wrong Man' (1956) and Miller's 'Garde à Vue' (1981) but in the Italian tragi-comic manner. Laws are strict but personal ethics very variable and fuzzy and Mastroianni is in the middle. Recommended.
A tightly wound allegory; innocence and guilt surge much like the italian coastline. The tides one must navigate in search of a comfortable existence amongst complicated turbulence. Petri lays bare our unforeseen raging through his lens of hindsight. Superbly composed and quizzically erudite in it's observations- we can all be guilty of inhumanity.