The historical drama by Andrei Konchalovsky, released in 2019, has the capacious name “Sin”. Collaboration with Italian filmmakers immerses the viewer in the Renaissance, telling about the life of the great master Michelangelo Buonarotti. The director approached the shooting on a large scale, because the picture turned out to be truly spectacular and epoch-making.
What is the movie “Sin” about?
A rumpled, unkempt man scolds Italy dirtyly, blaming her wild morals for the failures of creative people. It is in this unsightly form that the sculptor and painter Michelangelo appears. At the moment (first half of the 16th century) he is working on the painting of the Sistine Chapel. Pope Julius II admires the talented artist. But the attitude towards Buonarroti among his influential admirers is truly medieval (for nothing, that the Renaissance): rudely and cruelly, his skills are divided between the Della Rovere clan (the current Pope belongs to him) and the Medici.
The death of Julius II makes adjustments to the work of the master: Della Rovere is waiting for a sculpture of the deceased pontiff from Michelangelo, and the Medici are tempted by an impressive amount for decorating their own chapel. The thirst for money and creative self-expression is pushing the painter to break the contract with some and embark on a grandiose plan for others. In addition, the Medici give the go-ahead for illegal marble mining in Carrara.
Blinded by new opportunities and vanity, Buonarroti, together with his students, are trying to get a snow-white marble block, named the Monster for its impressive size. Excessive self-confidence leads to the death of an apprentice who died while descending the Monster from the top. Michelangelo, obsessed with ideas, is haunted by visions, fears and obsessive thoughts about possible betrayal and poisoning.
The intrigues and enmity of those in power rebound on the master: the Malaspina family, the owners of the Carrara marble deposits, begins to oppress him. In particular, they are accused of trying to kidnap the Monster. The sculptor’s humiliation continues at the wedding of his student: however, the insults of the rival, who was left without work due to Michelangelo’s fault, are cynically ignored, not taken to heart by the painter. And the vision in the form of Dante Alighieri inspires the artist with thoughts about the significance and value of his creative path.
The meaning of the film
Initially, “Sin” was supposed to be called “Monster”: either in memory of a marble block, or to become a characteristic of the spiritual qualities of the protagonist. The genius of Michelangelo is seen by the audience as a petty, dodgy, mentally untidy person. He is greedy, unprincipled, cunning. And, of course, it does not correspond to their inspired works. The epoch of renaissance is still not coming: there is dirt, devastation, rude morals all around.
Michelangelo Konchalovsky is a simple person, a product of the surrounding life and squabbles. At the same time, Buonarroti is a talent, subconsciously striving for beauty and inner light (even in the conditions of an ugly medieval way of life). As befits a genius, grace is in the hand of a random girl, the harmony of nature is in a tiny kitten. The thirst for beauty arises in the form of a brief half-hint to the painting “Girl with an Ermine” by another great painter – Leonardo da Vinci.
The meaning of the film and the title lies in the idea that all the creations of the master carry greatness and immortality without regard to the contradictory nature of the master. And although throughout the picture the odious sculptor is internally tormented by a religious search, the thought runs like a refrain through his whole essence that the place for such a sinner is only in hell. But neither the director nor the viewer believe in this dubious dogma: the divine gift does not fade under the influence of base weaknesses, universal human vices. And in the case of the skill of Michelangelo, the result exceeds all expectations. And the “sin” of the path traveled forever dissolves in the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel.
Another subtext of the film, brought out by the director, is the relationship between geniuses and their patrons. Michelangelo’s lifetime dependence on his patrons not only spoiled his blood, but also prevented him from fully realizing his creative ideas. Such frameworks and conventions again seem to justify the far from perfect genius of Buonarotti.
The meaning of the final
In the next “conversation” Dante convinces the sculptor of the meaningfulness of his life, in an unfinished life path. The poet assures the artist that he has not yet created his main works, that Michelangelo’s important creative stage is just ahead.
The last frames show the most famous works of art by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The majesty you see takes your breath away. The masterpieces created serve as a mute reminder that “the winner is always right.”
Remembering the gospel parable about talents, it becomes clear that the Italian did not bury his main “talent” in the ground, but multiplied it a thousandfold. Giving herself without a trace to all mankind (both contemporaries and descendants), the expressive nature of the sculptor thus atoned for every vice. The statue of David, the Last Judgment fresco, the Pieta composition – once again sin is defeated by beauty and perfection.