Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Who Is Love?

My brief exegesis on the film lo sono l'amore (I Am Love): trying to attribute the titular declaration to some character and make a little more sense of the foreign film. Thoughts [SPOILERS AHEAD]:

Betta: Her rejection of her Giorgio and subsequent confession of her sexuality was perhaps what pushed Emma into Antonio's arms -- witnessing her daughter's strength to defy both tradition and a family where patriarchs have very delineated ideas of their offspring's lives, Emma was no longer afraid to grasp onto what she wanted. Betta is love.

Antonio: Antonio, with his culinary passion, awakens within Emma something long dormant. Their lovemaking scene, juxtaposed with all the pollenation and buzzing and fertilization, shattered Emma's mundane and tepid existence, fulfilling some unexpressed desire. I remember in her dream we catch a glimpse of outreached purple-streaked hands offering her a bunch of grapes, vibrant with color. She accepted Antonio's fruit. Antonio is love.

Edo: Edo's death seemed to be the final act that drove Emma into Antonio's arms. I'm hesitant to think she would have left everything for Antonio, given the nature of his relationship with her son. But, to put it crassly, with Edo out of the way Emma was free to pursue her love -- Edo drove Emma into Antonio's arms. Edo is love.

Emma: Clearly the most troubled character in the film. Swept away from her home and a father who restored works of art for resale (much like he prepared her for her marriage?), she married into privilege. But there was always something tight in her face, something hidden under the surface, and a coolness between her and her husband, who actually renamed her upon arrival in Italy -- can't get much more overt than that. In the final dream sequence we are allowed into, while she is sleeping after learning of Edo's death, there is a young girl shaking her: "Kitezh, Kitezh" she says. Kitezh, is what Emma shares is her original name, but it's also a legendary town in Russia that submerges itself under a lake to ward off an attack from the Mongols. Emma, too, had submerged herself to survive her marriage, but is now rising to the surface. Emma is love.

But then I realized that maybe it's just more the force of love, speaking its voice: "I have arrived, I am here, resistance is futile."

No comments:

Post a Comment