I hopped off the plane from Newark to Rome and scurried down Via Veneto to see Margherita Buy and Sergio Castellito’s newest at the Multisala Barberini.
Directed by Alex Infascelli, the movie is based on Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt ‘s French play Petits Crimes Conjugaux (Partners In Crime) and though some plays were never meant to be movies, this adaptation works really well, mostly because of the two actors (the only two you’ll see in the whole thing).
It’s “stagey”, and has so much dialogue that it is not inconceivable that someone with limited Italian and no subtitles may have missed some things, but I was mesmerized by Arnaldo Catinari’s bad-dreamy, dizzying cinematography and the intense performance by Margherita Buy (there is a reason she’s a 7 time David di Donatello winner).
I wasn’t sure of what was happening a lot of the time, but that’s not because of my bad Italian; it’s because the plot is a real psychological mystery. He’s been injured and his memory is gone, but how did it happen?
He has a lot of questions for his wife but her answers aren’t always very convincing. He wants to know what happened to him, but he’s also looking for many of the “why” and “who” answers too.
Who is he? He doesn’t even remember what kind of man he is, and he needs her to tell him, but is she telling him the truth? And why would she lie?
Is she playing a game? Is she even really his wife?
The movie was made in two weeks and shot entirely in an apartment that once belonged to the actress Silvana Mangano. There are going to be many who just aren’t going to like all the talking, but Castellitto and Buy do an excellent job of keeping us trapped in the snare they have laid for each other and you’ll never stop wondering if anything is as it seems.