Thursday, September 4, 2008

Movie review: Sibling rivalry in 'My Brother'


My Brother Is an Lone Child: Drama. Directed by Daniele Luchetti. With Elio Germano, Riccardo Scamarcio, Diane Fleri, Vittorio Emanuele Propizio. In Italian, with English Language subtitles. (Not rated. 108 minutes. At Bay Area theaters. For complete film lists and show times, and to purchase tickets for choice theaters, travel to

From the authors behind the first-class "The Best of Youth" come ups this coltish expression at two Italian blood brothers who take very different stands during the intoxicating years of the '60s and '70s, when would-be radicals fancied they had a existent shot at taking over. Director Daniele Luchetti's scheme is to personify the long-standing divisions of his fatherland in a brace of siblings, but make the fictional characters so critical that we don't experience we're being browbeaten with political allegory.

Accio (Vittorio Emanuele Propizio) is the odd adult male out in his working-class family - his dada is a devoted Communist, whose political beliefs are echoed by Manrico (Riccardo Scamarcio), Accio's aged brother. Along with their sister, a adept musician, Manrico acquires the lion's share of the family's attention, and immature Accio develops quite a contrarian streak.

The temperamental male child comes in a seminary, where it's soon clear he's unsuited for a hieratic life. Some old age later, Accio (now played by Elio Germano) falls under the sway of a local fascist, and falls in the man's lout squad. Manrico now works at their father's factory. A talented speechmaker and agitator, Manrico is perfect as the working-class hero, and he's a fine-looking dog. Soon he pulls the notice of Francesca (Diane Fleri), a gorgeous immature adult female of left-of-center sympathies.

Accio also wishes Francesca, but instead gets an matter with the fascist's wife, who is old age older. As the human relationship continues, Accio gets questioning the political relation of his right-wing buddies, especially when they step up direct onslaughts on Manrico's leftie faction.

The action, by the way, is played out in the town of Latina, created by Benito Mussolini in a former swampland South of Rome. The film makers don't do a large trade out of this - it's just a nice fact to be aware of.

The movie's political concerns and clip time period may set some viewing audience in head of aged Italian film makers with extremist beliefs, like Pasolini and Marco Bellochio, but Luchetti and film writers Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli ("The Best of Youth") are more than focused on character. The intense feelings of the blood brothers are a crisp direct contrast to the picture's overall temper - Luchetti's more than interested in observation than agitprop. In fact, he have merriment with the overheated political clime of the time, especially in a scene where an orchestra of belligerent collectivists offerings a radical remake of the "Ode to Joy."

Adept playing by Germano and Scamarcio imparts the sense that the brothers, despite strong feelings that Pb to respective punch-outs, aren't quite the true trusters their words would take us to believe. Accio's attractive force to fascism is tegument deep, and he looks drawn to it more than because of his bristly nature than from any love of its ideas. Manrico - at least in his early years - certainly basks dramatic poses, and doesn't mind the attending he acquires from females. (However, he eventually makes go trapped in his chosen role.)

Things go decidedly serious by the end, but the movie still won't delight ideologists in the audience, because it steadfastly worsens to back one side or the other, remaining a provocative fictional character survey and portrait of the times. More powerfulness to it.

E-mail Bruno Walter Addiego at .

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