Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Being Late For The Movies - Captain Corelli's Mandoline

Since I'm not reviewing books this year, I thought up this little new column. As some may now, 2, soon to be 3 kids leave little time for movie dates, especially taking into consideration a very picky husband. So it sometimes takes a couple of years to watch a movie that most others have seen back when it was at the theater. So, here is my much belated opinion to blockbusters or smaller gems in "Being Late for the Movies". 

Starting out with this movie I came across at my work's library the other day:

Title: Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Year: 2001 (pathetic, isn't it?)
Director: John Madden
Starring: Penelope Cruz, John Hurt, Christian Bale, Nicolas Cage
based on a book by Louis de Bernières

During the time of the Second World War, young men are leaving the little Greek island of Cellaphonia to fight the Italian army on the mainland. Mandras, the finace of the Island's doctor's daughter Pelagia leaves, promising to marry her upon his return. After an initial victory, the Greek army is defeated by the Italians and Germans, and Madras is missing.  Soon, the first units of the Italian military arrive on the island, among them the artist unit of Captain Antonio Corelli, who is soon quartered in the doctor's house. While being hostile and sceptic towards the foreign military in the befinning, Pelagia soon starts to develop feelings for the foreign officer. As Madras returns, Pelagia helps him to flee again from being captured by the Italians. Soon, the Greek citizens get used to the presence of the Italians, and a certain normalcy returns until more and more German troops arrive. Meanwhile, the Greek militia forms to free the island, while more and more German troops arrive. When Italy surrenders to the allies, the Germans insist on disarming the Italian soldiers before sending them home. Instead, all of them are executed by their former ally; only Corelli survives by chance, being saved by Madras and brought to the doctor's house. Pelagia and the doctor save his life and restore him to health; however, once recovered, he has to flee the island to not fall into the hands of the Greek militia. During Corelli's recovery, Madras learns that he has lost Pelagia. As the war ends, she decides to train to be a doctor himself, not having heard a word from Corelli since helping him escape. Years later, after an earthquake has destroyed much of the town, Corelli finally returns to his love.

My opinion:
 I loved the movie, even though both male leads, Bale and Cage, do not fill the shoes of their roles in the beginning. To me, they simply do not incorporate the overflowing energy of young Greek or Italian men. Only later, when the characters mature through the horrors they encounter, they become credible. Definitely recommendable just for the scene when the town's mayor blows off the Italian invaders with a curt little note of "F*ck you"  (believe me, it looks so much nicer in Greek letters!!)


  1. That last line totally got me. Believe it or not, never saw this movie, but like you even with only 2 kids, seeing movies doesn't happen all that often and even when I do I also never see them all in one sitting either!

    1. Oh, that one single scene was glorious!! You should watch that movie with Kevin one day :-)

  2. I've never seen this one, either, but I saw a post somewhere about "Corelli's Mandolin," the book from which the movie is derived. Have wanted to see and read since. Perhaps with the impending snow, I'll have an opportunity! I love this new column, by the way - looking forward to more!

    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! I'll definitely try to get the book as well, hope to find it in one of the libraries around!