L’innocente, based on the novel by Gabriele D’Annuzio
The glorious, distinguished, eminent, supreme Luchino Visconti has directed L’innocente
The divine director has been at the helm of some celebrated chef d’oeuvres:
La Terra Trema, Rocco and his Brothers, The Leopard with the magnificent Burt Lancaster, Death in Venice and others
If not for other aspects of this motion picture, this work is worth watching for the lavishing setting.
The story makes one think of Marcel Proust.
In Remembrance of Things Past, the most accomplished writer ever, writes about the intricacies of love.
It is obviously a very convoluted subject, the most enthralling of all, and we have no simple, one sentence description.
However, one of the secrets is that we want the lover that is most difficult to arrive at, the unapproachable.
L’innocente wants exactly that.
This is his ordeal and that of a number of people around him, including a newborn baby that may suffer because of this plight.
Giancarlo Giannini is a dazzling actor.
He has the leading role of Tullio Hermil aka L’innocente.
Although, the innocent changes residence, and it appears often that the hero is actually the opposite of innocent.
Ultimately, we have an antihero dominating the narrative.
Tullio is an aristocrat married to Giuliana Hermil, a very appealing, handsome woman that we have the chance to admire.
In her full splendor.
In the time of “Me Too”, it is appalling to see the absurd, humiliating, sexist and sadistic attitude of the antihero.
Moreover, he is an epitome, a representative of the common male, in an age when men were abusing women.
The antihero talks to his wife about his mistress and his urge to be with her, the beautiful Teresa Raffo.
“I do not want to marry her
However, I want you to be like a sister to me…”
Understandably, this offends the wife.
She seems to detach herself from this philandering, offensive husband.
However, as Marcel Proust explains in his masterpiece, once someone seems to be less approachable, he or she becomes ever more alluring and interest is rising to extremes with every rejection.
Tullio Hermil wants the woman who was once invited to be like a sister to him to be his lover again.
His suspicions are mortifying.
Whereas he had once slapped a man who had been interested in his mistress and challenged him to a duel, the antihero is different now.
Tullio hates the one he thinks is sleeping with his wife.
Furthermore, he torments his wife once he returns to her, perhaps only to abandon the woman, once she seems “conquered”.
It is a provocative, if slow moving narrative that would challenge viewers used with the fast pace of Hollywood fare.
Ultimately, a child is born.
The mistrust surrounding his conception is bewildering, for both mother and (maybe adoptive) father do not wish to see him.
Alas, it might get even worse for the fate of the child that is associated with the now deceased, supposed lover.