Day 105: Rocco and His Brothers (June, 22)

Sheer perfection.

I could end this post here, and I would have said enough about Rocco e i Suoi Fratelli, Luchino Visconti's masterpiece and his first commercial success. I've heard a lot about how good this film is, but I was not prepared for what I saw. It would be amazing see it in a cinema's big screen, where this movie truly belongs.

The story has so many layers, is impossible to pinpoint all of it. It is as complex as families can be. Love, hate, meanness, guilt, forgiveness... Each of the five Parondi Brothers has a role in the family that brings a resemblance to our own family or any other that we know. The problematic demanding brother that blames the world for his all the unfortunate luck that he causes to himself. The quiet brother that thinks he is responsible for the whole family - and does a disservice to everybody, despite his noble and sincere intentions. The guy that wants nothing than to have his own family. The sensible brother. And the younger one, that witnesses everything, trying to make sense of it. At last, of course, the mother, that cannot see that the old familiar pattern cannot be sustained for long without a big and even tragic conflict.

A society that is changing from its old rural ways, the social aspects of life in modern centres are there. Visconti wouldn't exempt himself from discussing social matters in scope of realism in this specific time and place of cinematographic Italian production. But it is curious that, despite the recurrent argument in the movie that all the Parondi's troubles would be a result from moving from their village to a big city. one of the last lines defends the opposite: the world is changing, says one of the brothers (the more perspicacious of the five, I think), and probably their birth place would be not the same also. It is compelling such a careful reflexion on a movie. 

The cinematography is beautiful and, of course, being Visconti, it is also crude. It is absolutely brutal, and the images tell about it with perfection, along the masterful text. I was constantly amazed by both, and couldn't believe how good this film really is. A movie for life.

Even the dubbed dialogues, and the uncomfortable  lip sync doesn't affect the intensity of all the performances. Alain Delon's Rocco presents such an internal conflict, it is painful and sad. He understands the true colors of what he is seeing in his family, but his way to deal of it is not successful - it is the average action, though, what we usually see: someone in a family tries to desperately correct what is wrong, acting in the place of the others. There's no way to succeed. It is actually a very delusional belief, and it leads to more conflict and troubles. So, after the first scenes, I was able to disconnect from the lip syncs troubles (something that usually bothers me a lot) and focus on what mattered: the outstanding cinema production in front of me. A remarkable and beautiful film, a true and honest story.

Rocco and His Brothers (Rocco i suoi Fratelli). Directed by Luccino Visconti.
With: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot. Writers: Luccino Visconti
et al. Italy/France, 1960, 177 min., Mono, Black and White (DVD).

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