Lina Wertmüller masterfully directs a whirlwind of passion in 1920s Italy
A mix of comedy and melodrama featuring a trio of exceptional actors
Even deprived of her usual glamour, Sophia Loren is still a goddess
The title may seem imposing, but there is actually a longer version which won a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The title for the American market is the more manageable Revenge. The film moves seamlessly between comedy, tragedy, melodrama and period drama, and comes to the conclusion that free will is essential, whatever the cost. Lina Wertmüller captures this whirlwind of hopes and emotions with an unyielding sense of storytelling, managing to magnificently combine the intimate and the grandiose. She is helped out by a stellar cast: Giancarlo Giannini, a regular in her films, and the infallible couple of Loren and Mastroianni, together once more. Sophia, without her usual glamour, loses none of her legendary charm.
1922. In a small Sicilian town, everybody knows that Vito Acicatena killed Angelo Paternò, but nobody is willing to talk to the authorities. Spallone, a fervent socialist lawyer, tries to convince Angelo’s widow Titina to have the case reopened. They start a relationship, however things get complicated with the arrival from America of Nick, a cousin of the murdered man who has gotten rich through criminal activities. Titina falls for him, too. After the Fascist March on Rome, Vito becomes the head of the local Fascist militia. Spallone and Nick’s desire for justice lead to tragic consequences.