Sunday, April 13, 2008

La Ragazza del Lago (The Girl By The Lake)

The debut film by Andrea Molaioli is based on a novel by Norwegian author Karin Fossum often known as the “Norwegian queen of crime” called Se deg ikke tilbake!, (Don’t Look Back) and is a quite well done “who done it” movie.

Tells about a murder in an Italian provincial town that draws multiple suspects and you’ll find yourself wondering who the murderer is with not too many clues to guess right, which I believe is the greatest value of this story. Besides the story since the very first scenes gives you disturbing possibilities that continue along the whole movie, with perhaps what could look as a rush ending –and anticlimax- when the murder is identify, but I believe that by that moment you’ll be glad that the puzzle final piece is placed.

As a movie is quite interesting as the pace is very slow with very good performance by Toni Servillo as stern Commissario Sanzio (he only smiles once in the whole movie) and the most spectacular cinematography from Argentinian lenser Ramiro Civita with properly cold light, suggesting almost shivering anxieties behind the tranquil mountain exterior.

Perhaps because this movie is based on a Nordic author novel I find that is very similar to another police/crime movie from another cold country, Mýrin (Jar City), as not only the main character is quite similar but the way both films tell their own stories are very-very similar. The main difference is that this film story happens in Italy, while the other is set in Iceland, and perhaps the contrast between a warm country with a cold story makes Molaioli’s movie quite interesting as the contrast is done mainly with cinematic effects.

The movie has many nominations in the 2008 David di Donatello Awards and won the Isvema Award for a debut or second feature film at the 2007 Venice Film Festival with Toni Sevillo winning the Francesco Pasinetti (SNGCI) Award for Best Actor.

This is a film suited for those that enjoy European “who done it” stories and my best reference is that if you enjoyed Mýrin you will definitively like this movie.


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