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Sometimes I really don't get it why some things are liked so much, by so many. This often is the case with certain mini-series and television work, like this movie. Fore I just really can't see this as an actual movie. In its setup it's certainly more suitable as a mini-series and also quality-wise it has very little to do with real film-making. And lets not forget about its running time. It's 6 hours long! No movie has the right to be that long really, unless you're Terrence Malick.

I'm not saying that this production is an horrible one but it obviously for me was still a very disappointing one. Let me just say that whenever I would had seen the first part somewhere, sometime on TV, aired as a mini-series, I would have no intentions to tune in again to it the next week. Neither the story or characters are really interesting enough for that and besides the directing and visual approach to the movie is just too lacking.

Seems to me that if the movie would had picked different characters and different story lines, people would had been just gushing as much over it as they do now. It wouldn't have mattered at all, just because it's long and Italian people seem to love it. Nothing about the story really stands out. It's lacking some good depth and multiple layers in it. The movie now instead remains a shallow experience, that really doesn't work effectively on an emotional or dramatic level.

And funny thing is; I'm normally really fond of epic and long family drama's, or movies that chronicles the lifespan of a person(s).

But like I said; this movie feels too much like it consists out of a bunch of soap opera scripts that got thrown together into one big long movie, when no television network picked it up as a soap opera. That unfortunately doesn't mean that this movie ever surpasses the level of an average and typical soap opera, with neither its story, characters, visual style or acting.

This movie definitely looks like it got shot on video, which gives it an awful made for TV type of look. The camera-work, the lighting, the directing approach, it all got done so lifeless and without any imagination. There is absolutely no artistic value to this production, which is the reason why I think it's quite offensive that lots of people rank this just as high- and compare it to other epic Italian classics, by some great film-makers, like Roberto Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni or Federico Fellini, among many others.

The story made all of the characters quite bland and uninteresting but you could also really blame some of the acting for that. I'm sorry but sometimes the performances just weren't good enough at all. Another reason why this movie failed to make an impact on me emotionally.

But when you do take this- and look upon this as a TV production it still has some value and quality in it. Guess when you're really into soap opera's or overlong mini-series, you can still enjoy watching this, as either a movie or mini-series.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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