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    Reader comments on Don't Move

    Subject: Don't Move
    Date: Dec 13, 2006
    Sender: James StreetPrevious | Next

    Don't Move is in the same category as Lina Wertmuller's Swept Away, which is to say that it is about passion love which is anti-rational and which breaks through all the barriers and conventions of middle class respectability.

    Penelope Cruz is not "stunningly beautiful," at least in any conventional way. However, she magnificently portrays the passion that inspires Sergio Castellitto to leave everything for her. This lower class Italian woman who, in an operatic way, is named Italia, says to Castellitto that she will kill him if he lies to her. The line perfectly expresses the passion love that is ignited from the beginning, and exemplifies the operatic undercurrent of the film.

    The rape that occurs at the beginning, is of mythic proportions and is certain to draw the ire of American feminists. But it is the first of a series of commands: Donāt Move (from my life) which express the underlying theme of the film: The people whom Castellitto has loved the most have moved away from him.

    A flashback depicts an argument between the small boy Castellittoās mother and father and ends with the father abandoning the family forever. The movie opens in the present when his fourteen year old daughter, by his wife, has sustained a severe head injury and might not live. And then comes the flashback which is the story of the film: Castellittoās love of Cruz. He is swept away by Italia.

    For an instant Castellitto thinks Cruz is a prostitute and that he has done nothing more than take something that he should have paid for. But he learns that she cleans hotel rooms for a living, which is enough to cause the birth of love in him. The birth of love in Cruz takes much longer, of course, but when Castellitto tells her he loves her she allows herself to believe that he might be telling the truth. There are several scenes of fierce erotic ecstasy that recall the rape, but they are portrayed as natural and completely mutual.

    Castellitto's wife, who is played by the conventional nordic beauty Claudia Gerini represents what is successful but decadent about Italy. The couple live back-to-back lives and Gerini is portrayed as having a parallel successful career. One scene shows her attending a drunken party without Castellitto. Castellitto chides her about a certain mutual friend who was at the party and who might be a boyfriend. In another scene, she tells him she doesn't want to have children and says, "I wouldn't even know how to hold a baby," as if his desire for children is ridiculous. Their relationship is shown to be a marriage of convenience between a beautiful woman of modest middle class origins and a successful surgeon: When she gets pregnant by accident, she expresses the hope that she wont have a girl because she might inherit his "ugly nose." And the scenes which depict her family show a superficial, deeply boring group of people who care more for their animals than they do for each other and who live in a shabby middle class apartment.

    It will be difficult for many Americans to believe that a successful surgeon would think of leaving a beautiful, sophisticated Northern Italian woman for a skinny, badly dressed woman. And especially for a woman he has raped and who is less attractive than Gerini. It will be even harder to forgive him. But any American who loves Italian opera will believe it, and will place this film in the same category as Swept Away, Cinema Paradiso and Il Postino, to name just a few Italian film masterpieces of the past.

    The Italians are, after all, still the best lovers in the world and Donāt Move adds another small sigh to their reputation (mine.)

    Previous: The best film ever! | Next: The best movie ever

    Respond to this message | Return to original article: Don't Move

    Comment index:

  • The best film ever!   from Anna Ossipova, Oct 30, 2006
  • » Don't Move «   from James Street, Dec 13, 2006
  • The best movie ever   from Janna, Sep 16, 2007
  • Genuinely Touching   from Ravichandran, Jan 3, 2009
  • [no subject]   from Monica, Jun 2, 2009
  • Non ti Muovere   from io, Oct 22, 2009
  • Dont move   from Andreea, Apr 13, 2010
  • The best film ever!   from Anna Ossipova, Oct 30, 2006
  • » Don't Move «   from James Street, Dec 13, 2006
  • The best movie ever   from Janna, Sep 16, 2007
  • Genuinely Touching   from Ravichandran, Jan 3, 2009
  • [no subject]   from Monica, Jun 2, 2009
  • Non ti Muovere   from io, Oct 22, 2009
  • Dont move   from Andreea, Apr 13, 2010