Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista
Romantic comedies often dominate cinemas since they are relatively easier to produce and are quite popular. So finding a realistic rendition of relationships on film is rare and very refreshing when you do get it. ‘Riprendimi’ or Good morning Heartache is an Italian film that doesn’t hold back any of the details in the complexity of a very modern romance. The revealing intimate, sex scenes are integral to the story because that’s what the film is about, being real. A lot of viewers today will be able to relate to the problems that characters face in the story.
‘Riprendimi’ is part of the 9th Italian Film Fest held at Shang Rila Plaza from October 20-26, 2010. Admission is free of charge and is on a first come first serve basis. The fest is only a part of a month long celebration of Italian culture entitled “Dolce Italia, dolce lingua”. Fellini’s colleague and screenwriter, Mario Fortunato will also have a free lecture entitled “Antonioni, Visconti, Fellini and Pasolini: Straddling Cinema and Literature” also at the Shang Rila Cineplex 10am on October 20.
Lucia (Alba Rohrwacher) is a young mother who falls apart after her husband Giovanni (Marco Foschi) abandons his family in search of ‘himself’. Rohrwacher looks like a younger version of British actress Cate Blanchett and is not any less talented. She is convincing as the fragile wife who is at a complete loss with how to deal with her husband’s illogical sudden change of heart. Later on she becomes the feisty Italian woman who won’t hesitate to slap her husband in public in a fit of rage. Rohrwacher has also won a Golden Globe Italy and David di Donatello Award for her work in ‘Giovanna’s Father’. She was also a member of the Jury of the Locarno International Film Festival in 2009.
Complicating matters in the separation is the documentary being filmed on the couple. The shooting began as a piece on the difficulties temporary workers; Giovanni is a struggling actor taking bit parts when he can. Lucia is a freelance film editor who works from one project to the next. The film makers have an ominous presence and it was inevitable that they too become involved in their subject’s lives. Eros (Alessandro Averone) is the film maker who knows that he is onto something but is not quite sure what it is as the nature of the documentary changes.
From a directorial point of view, this is what also gives the ‘Riprendimi’ a ‘realistic’ feel. Nothing seems scripted and people just shoot what enfolds, it harkens to “Blair Witch Project.” But while the docu approach is oft used in horror, this may be the first time it has been employed in a drama or romance concept. This is a very novel approach from director and screenwriter Ana Negi.
Another interesting character is Michela (Valentina Lodovini) a dark haired, voluptuous doctor. She came at the perfect time in Giovanni’s life. Just as he felt suffocated by the responsibility of fatherhood and his marriage he meets Michela, oozing with sensuality. Lodovini has features similar to another Italian temptress: Monica Belucci of “Malena” and “Matrix Revolution.” The most intimate and passionate scenes come from Michela and Giovanni, they can’t help but satisfy their desires on top of a car or on the public stairway of their apartment building.