Sunday, December 12, 2010

COME UNDONE

Alba Rohrwacher, Pierfranceso Favino




This tale of infidelity unfurls in Milan, Italy. Anna (Alba Rohrwacher) is an accountant for an insurance company. She lives with Alessio, a rotund and kind hearted handyman. They are a childless couple who seem to have a comfortable life and as far as the viewers are concerned they look like any happy couple. That's before she meets Domenico (Pierfrancesco Favino). He was the caterer/waiter hired by her company for the retirement party of Anna's colleague. Soon enough after a couple of misgivings and false starts, Anna and Domenico begin their passionate affair.

The film chronicles the powerful emotions involved in an adulterous relationship. The web of lies and excuses they concoct to cover up their affair seemed valid. Yet in the same breath, the film also measures the day-by-day emotional cost of the affair: not only to Anna and Domenico, who are increasingly guilt-ridden and prickly with each other, but also to family, friends and business associates.

"Come Undone" is solidly grounded in mundane reality. The somber hesitations, the fiery nature of their passionate affair, the craziness of lying - it all boils down to a brief passage in the central characters' lives when they purposefully make the wrong decisions about sex, love, and physicality just because it feels right.

As most adulterous affairs go, eventually Anna wonders and begins to question the validity of their affair. Lying in Domenico's arms after one of their trysts, she prods him whether they have a future together. Domenico, in turn asks Anna, "Can't you just live in the moment?" The fact that she can't fully answer the question speaks to the film's ability to transcend its often trite material with complex characterizations.

That in my opinion was the defining moment in this anatomy of an adulterous affair. I was somewhat puzzled as throughout the movie, Domenico was the first one to say the "L" word to Anna. Yet when she quizzes him about whether the affair had any merits, he is unable to 'commit'. So I guess due to that little twist, the final scene at the airport was firmly conclusive - both for the affair as well as the movie itself.

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