Francesco Mistichelli as Marcello Romei
Elena Cucci as Elena del Ponte
Luigi Petrazzuolo as Pasquale
Alfio Alessi as Armando Cesari
Renato Scarpa as Don Tommaso
Italian islands with azure azure blue sea, colorfully painted houses and rocky beaches make a fantastic backdrop for the trials and tribulations of love since Jean-Luc Godard's Le Mépris. The Swiss director Denis Rabaglia logically settles his second film Marcello Marcello on the fictitious island of Amatrello in the south of Italy.
On Amatrello, there are many figures around the youthful hero Marcello (Francesco Mistichelli), who is looking for the first love: the village teacher, Professor Pizzuti, who wants to encourage the intelligent and subtle boy to study in Rome, his life-filled father Mariano, A fisherman by profession, the crude butcher Rozzani, the devout padre Don Tommaso, the politically correct mayor of del Ponte, the dandy-obsessed millionaire son Armando, the capricious diva, Signora Lombardi, and the adorable-girlish Elena (Elena Cucci). Marcello wants to win his first big love Elena and stirs up the whole village. After all, he is only allowed to perform a rendezvous if he follows an ancient custom of Amatrello: he must hand over a gift to Elena's father, the mayor of del Ponte, which impresses him so much that he gives his daughter an exit. But other cavaliers courting Elena's favor. Whether Marcello succeeds in this task, the spectator has to explore for himself.
Marcello Marcello is about love, fate and questions that have always plagued people: how do I spend my life, which is my only one? Do I fit into my social role or do I embrace? Is our first love the deepest emotion of existence or is it a social construction?
Rabaglia packs these questions into a breezy summer comedy based on 2004's Marcello's Date by British Mark David Hatwood. Rabaglia revised the story together with co-author Luca de Benedittis and adapted the location, content and dialogues. He uses the motif of the small town as a microcosm of life, in which human conflicts play out in miniature, in which characters meet that exemplify social milieus. He refers to a traditionally popular subject in film (Twin Peaks by David Lynch) and literature (Our Town by Thornton Wilder).
The comedy Marcello Marcello, a Swiss-German co-production, settles a love story in the Neapolitan society of the fifties of the 20th century and paints a loving picture of this time. Nevertheless, the film remains conventionally staged craft. Because Rabaglia has a sense of the right timing, is a meticulous observer with great attention to detail and a big heart for his characters, he is forgiven for renouncing any experimentation and the fact that only well-known narrative narrative patterns are repeated here. For the most part, an authentic atmosphere is created using point-of-view shots shot with the hand-held camera. At most, the sometimes a bit pushy and intentionally trimmed on Hollywood score disturbs the overall impression. A harmoniously composed little movie jewel with a seductive Italian flair, although it will only sparkle for one summer.
Review by Annette Walter, Kino-Zeit
Translated from German, courtesy of Google Translate