Crítica: Il ritorno di Casanova
por Vittoria Scarpa
- En su última película, Gabriele Salvatores reflexiona sobre el paso del tiempo, la decadencia física y la relación entre el cine y la vida
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
Leo Bernardi's melancholy is also felt in the flat where he lives, which is entirely tamed and over-equipped, and which at a certain point seems to go mad: the lights turn on and off by themselves, the taps suddenly spit water, the toilet seat gets stuck in mid-air. An acclaimed director heading into the sunset both professionally and personally, Leo is the protagonist of Gabriele Salvatores' new film, has the face of Toni Servillo and just cannot accept his slow decline. And so, as he tries to complete his latest film on Giacomo Casanova, pressed by the expectations of his producer who fears losing his investment (Antonio Catania), by the solicitations of his editor who wants to close the film (Natalino Balasso) and by his rivalry with a young filmmaker who threatens to take his place at the Venice Film Festival, even his home shows unease. This is one of the surreal touches that punctuate Casanova’s Return [+lee también:
ficha de la película], the Oscar-winning (with 1991's Mediterraneo) director's 20th feature film, loosely based on Arthur Schnitzler's “Il ritorno di Casanova.” A feature film constructed as a game of mirrors between a director and the protagonist of his film (Casanova is played by Fabrizio Bentivoglio), which speaks of glory days gone by and lost youth, and which Salvatores admits is his most personal work.
Screened as a world premiere at the 14th Bari International Film&Tv Festival, Casanova’s Return jumps from reality to fiction thanks to Julien Panzarasa's punctually alternating editing, visually distinguishing the two parts clearly: real life, that of Leo, today, trying to close his film, is filmed in black and white; the set with costumes and wigs from the 1700s, which sees an old Casanova miserably trying to conquer a young girl (Bianca Panconi), is instead in colour. While working, with difficulty, on the editing of his film, the over-60-year-old Leo discovers that he has much in common with his main character, because just like Casanova he has recently found himself experiencing a passion for a young woman (Sara Serraiocco), and having to come to terms with the passing of time. Vain, obsessed with his work and fame, Leo is overwhelmed by the memories of this love that took him by surprise and that he did not have the courage to embrace fully.
So many themes intertwine in this cinematic mise en abyme, at times dreamlike, scripted by Salvatores with Umberto Contarello (The Great Beauty [+lee también:
entrevista: Paolo Sorrentino
ficha de la película]) and Sara Mosetti (the trio has already co-written the screenplay for Volare [+lee también:
ficha de la película]): the theme of doubles, physical decay (here courageously shown without veils), the seductive force that fades with time, the relationship between cinema and life, the whims and manias linked to the profession, the advancing of the new. There is also the onslaught of journalists, who, like an army, advance on the hunt for scoops and whom Leo repels with foils. Servillo and Bentivoglio shine in their respective roles: the former's self-mockery ends up making Leo likeable even in his frivolities; the latter restores a Casanova who is tender when revealing himself to be totally unprepared for old age. "You are young, but I am Casanova", says the latter to his dashing rival in love, but his obstinacy in wanting to repeat himself is doomed to failure. Not least because, as Leo's young lover ideally counters: “I have so much life ahead of me and plenty of time to fall in love again”. And it could not be said more cruelly.
Casanova’s Return is produced by Indiana Production with Rai Cinema, Ba.Be Productions and EDI Effetti Digitali Italiani, in collaboration with 3 Marys Entertainment. It will be in cinemas from 30 March with 01 Distribution. Rai Com handles international sales.
(Traducción del italiano)
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