Malena – drama of 2000, directed by J. Tornatore. The composer is the legendary Enio Moricone. Starring Monica Bellucci.
The meaning of the film “Malena”
The events unfold in Sicily during the Second World War. The teenager Renato moves to a small town with his parents and sisters, as well as the young Scordia family – Magdalena, the daughter of a Latin teacher and her husband, a military man. Soon the husband goes to war, and his beloved, the beautiful Malena, becomes the heroine of gossip and the object of passion for all the men of the city. Young Renato also falls in love with her, but due to his age, his feelings are pure, he even goes to church regularly and prays for the girl.
Meanwhile, Malena is having a hard time. Dirty rumors surround her, they refuse to hire her, women do not accept her into their circle. Renato’s classmates say vulgar things to her father at the lesson, the boy begins to take revenge on his friends. When he starts to earn money in a cafe, he takes revenge for dirty rumors to all visitors.
A teenager’s puberty and his first love are shown as a comedy. Parents are trying to exorcise the devil from the boy, the father takes him to a brothel …
Meanwhile, it becomes known that Malena’s husband died in North Africa. This further fuels the interest around the girl. Men are happy that she is free, women attribute to her lovers everyone who is not hit.
One day, the girl’s father receives a note that his daughter is a prostitute. He disowns his daughter.
All this time, we know about the real life of Malena only on the basis of the observations of Renato, who is spying on her apartment. Naturally, no lovers go to her, the girl lives apart, does not make friends and lovers, remaining faithful to her husband.
During the bombing, her father is killed. Left alone, Malena first goes on trial for allegedly having a vicious relationship with a lieutenant (in fact, her only friend) and a dentist. The lawyer wins the case, but in return demands intimacy with Malena, this is observed by Renato. He writes letters to the girl and sympathizes with her. The lawyer offers Malena his heart and hand, but his mother comes between them. The lawyer himself says the catchphrase of the entire film: “Her crime is that she is beautiful.” By the way, the girl never saw the young lieutenant again, and he, perhaps, was the second man in the city after Renato who treated her without animal lust.
Malena really becomes a prostitute and now truly sleeps with the whole city, including Nazi leaders. After the fall of the regime, embittered women take revenge on her. They undress her, beat her and cut her hair. The destroyed girl leaves the city. Renato watches everything silently, because he is still a child and is unable to do anything.
After some time, Malena’s husband returns to the city. He is crippled, but alive and looking for his soul mate. Having achieved nothing, he is ready to go home, but Renato writes him an anonymous letter.
A couple of years later, Malena and her husband return to the town. She is completely different, but women still see her as a serious rival. The girl does not give in to provocations and the offenders accept her, showing their disposition. Renato was able to speak to the girl and wished her happiness. This is where the movie ended. The main character tells that he had many women, and they all asked if he would remember them, but he only remembers the one with whom he had never been …
Monica Bellucci herself said about the meaning of the film that people can forgive you wealth and intelligence, but beauty will never be forgiven. The film is about how we destroy beauty ourselves.
But not only about this. Firstly, this is a drama about intraspecific struggle and that if they saw an opponent in you, then they won’t let you leave alive. People will always rot the dissimilar, whether they are ugly or vice versa of incredible beauty. To bring down into their gray herd, to humiliate out of envy and unsatisfied lust is their main goal.
Secondly, the film is about what it’s like to be different. And this is the story of the main character. Renato is still a child, because classmates laugh at his short pants, and adults do not give any rights, because he is a child. Neither the world of teenagers nor the world of adults accepts him. This is what prevented him from standing up for the girl during the apotheosis of hatred for her. Yes, he is also not like everyone else and also suffers from this. That’s just age and beauty can be experienced, because a year later Renato already had a new lady of the heart, and Malena became an ordinary resident of the town. She looks and is dressed almost the same as those who gave her a dark one in the very center of the city.
The meaning of the film’s ending
In the last scenes, Malena and her crippled husband return to their homeland. And we involuntarily wonder why she did it. Most likely, she needed to overcome herself and her fears after all the humiliations (this is a kind of gestalt in psychology), show her tormentors that she was not broken and became stronger, walking hand in hand with her husband: despite everything, they stayed together and understood each other’s tragedy. In addition, they regained their home. Started another life.