Film Micrœview #130: I Vitelloni (1953)
09.13.2014 § Leave a comment
This film is more about characters who are too weak to grow up. It is about characters who are too weak to — when they want to — leave the obligations of the groups they are born into or let themselves get pressured into joining. This film shows the horrible consequences of never choosing to leave (main story), as well as those of leaving after waiting too long (the sister who goes with a married man and abandons her family). This all comes together beautifully in the end when our narrator is revealed as the character who has shown perhaps the least action (despite his position of power to intervene in the rift building between two allegiances of his) and yet is the only one able to will himself to extricate himself from this world he can’t find a way to help or belong in (in by far the most compelling moment of the entire film, its concluding stroke).
And thankfully, the film does not punish its villainy, as if this villainy were neuter in reality.
One can find the film’s autobiographical element factored out into pieces of each of its Vitelloni.