Eye For Film >> Movies >> L'Amore Molesto (1995) Film Review
Delia (Anna Bonaiuto) is a graphic artist, living alone in Bologna, self-sufficient and slightly repressed. Her mum, Amalia (Angela Luce), on the other hand is lively and exuberant. One night, Delia has a bizarre call from her. Clearly with a man, she tells her daughter she is going to “take it in her mouth.” Adding that she is going for a swim, she warns her to “be careful or he’ll kill you, too”, before hanging up.
When Amalia is found dead on a beach, wearing the most unlikely of get-ups, Delia embarks on a journey to Naples to discover the truth about her mother and her ‘mystery man’, which also sees her confront events in her own past.
Director and writer Mario Martone creates a wealth of well-realised characters, from Delia’s eccentric uncle (Gianni Cajafa) to Amalia’s possible lover Caserta (Giovanni Viglietti). The most engaging of all, however, is Naples itself. Martone was born and bred in the city and gets under its skin completely, carefully evoking the chaos that surrounds Delia’s fish out of water. Noise is key to the atmosphere, with a constant hubbub mirroring the central character’s confusion about her mother’s life and her own. The jazz-oriented soundtrack, too, adds to the background babble.
The emotions at the heart of the movie run high and it is here where the best tension lies, but the plot is, ultimately, too convoluted and confusing to maintain the thriller aspect. There is a lengthy sub-plot involving a childhood friend of Delia’s which is given so much weight that it gets in the way of the main event. Ultimately, although atmospheric, the film’s revelations come too late and too weakly to truly sustain the runtime, despite Bonaiuto’s excellent performance in the central role.Reviewed on: 27 May 2007