Monday, February 3, 2014

La Notte (1961)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Writers:  Michelangelo Antonioni, Ennio Flainano, Tonino Guerra
Cast:       Marcelo Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti

A day in the life of an openly unfaithful married couple whose relationship is obviously deteriorating.

Mastroianni plays the role of Giovanni, a successful writer with a newly released book, married to a rich lady played by Jeanne Moreau (Lidia). Lidia is insecure about her own intellectual capacity when compared with Giovanni's and doesn't love him anymore. She is bored with her bourgeoisie way of life and doesn't enjoy herself with the company of high society. We see them going to a party hosted by a rich man and the second half of film consists entirely of that. Lidia eggs Giovanni onto Valentina played by Monica Vitti. Lidia herself finds it impossible to be unfaithful to her husband and everything is very complicated. We as audience are to figure out what is going on in their minds and it is very challenging but a rewarding experience.

It is interesting to compare Antonioni's work with that of Michael Haneke's. Urban alienation is a theme that is commonly handled by both of these directors. Haneke usually take a stand offish approach to his characters and jolt the audience with the extraordinary actions taken by them. Antonioni takes the audience into his characters' moods whom largely remains alienated. La Notte is the second film in what is dubbed as Michelangelo Antonioni's 'Alienation Trilogy. The other two being L'Avventura and L'Eclisse. 

Rating: 4.5/5