In Luchino Visconti’s exquisite Dostoyevsky adaptation, Marcello Mastroianni is a lonely city transplant and Maria Schell is a sheltered girl haunted by a lover’s promise who meet by chance on a canal bridge and begin a tentative romance that entangles them in a web of longing and self-delusion.
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She has just given up on her illusion (which might be reality) of reunion with her absent lover & accepted His love (which might be illusion) so He takes Her by barge to a “quiet” place. It snows, the lovers are ecstatic in their joint reality, the camera pans & the homeless are huddling over their scant flames. The snows comes down over all & suddenly the dialectical opposition of illusion & reality (CONTD BELOW)
Sometimes joyful, sometimes heartbreaking. That is how all love stories are like. Yet, Visconti's vision is one good example to watch on Valentine's Day. I've just loved that scene where it begins to snow (in B/W). :)
As exquisite and heartbreaking as its literary sibling. Mastroianni is wonderful as the young loner, a dreamer looking for something tangible. After all, he, and some other few italian leading men (Sordi, Gassman, Manfredi) had that aura of tragicomic hero, common people with complex mentality and values.
It acts as a mirror of my own sensibility and conjures up many past memories.
When you're lonely it's a simple thing to project all of your desires onto a person — perhaps a beautiful person you run into on a bridge — and call that love. Visconti's film isn't a tragic love story. Rather, it's a film about the comfort we find in our delusions and obsessions.