‘La Sconosciuta’ in Italian means- ‘The Unknown Women’.
There are not one but so many things you can love and admire from Giuseppe Tornatore Film. The film quite resembles with his earlier ‘Malena’, telling the heartbreaking, struggling story of a Ukrainian woman named Irena. Life is hell for her and she tries to find some hope working as a maid in the house of jeweler family. But soon her past started haunting her and it’s not easy to escape. Can a real dream exist between so many nightmares?
It’s hard to guess the character of her till the movie completes the first half and the tangled jigsaw puzzle kind of screenplay makes us ambivalent too.
The technique of narrating the flashback of Irena’s past life was handled quite uniquely with tangled screenplay. The whole past of her was revealed in nonlinear way showing just momentary footage, keeping us tense to know the further undercurrent. It was handled so carefully that it gives the space for the audience to connect psychologically with her character full of climactic physical and mental torture prevailing from past to present.
If you have read ‘stream of consciousness’ novels of Virginia Woolf or James Joyce with all your heart you will enjoy this narration technique much more than common audience.
Apart of other popular films of Tornatore, here you’ll find a nerve wrenching diabolique villain named ‘Mold’ using women for physical torture and abuse to earn money. The film has some fully frontal nudity and violent/torture sex scenes but it’s certainly part of the script. Xenia Rappoport is truly a revealing actress with all her underplay act. It’s too hard to live such a complex character on screen and gain audience empathy but she made it that possible so gracefully. The haunting background score of Ennio Morricone is quite inseperable part of Tornatore film. How can we forget this genius Italian composer who scored the greatest soundtracks of Sergio Leone’s all westerns.
I love one thing about almost every Tornatore film that after telling a deep heartbreaking tale, he signifies the end of the film positively showing the fine admirable and graceful shade of lead character. We have visualized that in ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘Malena’. Remember the last scenes of both these films and same you can expect here.
Essential for all Tornatore fans.