Saturday, May 5, 2012
MM Movie Review: Tempo di uccidere
While walking through the wilderness, he gives a cigarette to a lizard in what has to be the most bizarre and pointless scene of this bizarre and pointless movie. He stumbles later and appears to hurt his hand, then finds a waterfall where he also finds a nubile young Abyssinian girl wearing a white turban (and nothing else) taking a bath. He asks her for directions, starts to wash himself a bit, gives her some soap and keeps asking for directions to the lake. She doesn’t speak his language and so that goes nowhere and (there’s no polite way to put this) his lust overcomes him and he rapes the girl. Trying to make himself feel better afterwards, I suppose, he offers her some money (she refuses), some canned food (she refuses), a Bible (she accepts that), some breeches (she accepts) and she seemed very interested in his broken watch. He finds out her name is Marian but, we’re told, all the girls are named Marian in Ethiopia. When he starts to leave she runs after him and, well, invites him to have another roll in the grass (I guess the first time ended up impressing her). On the bright side, it got rid of his toothache, though he is a little worried that the girl might be thinking of herself as his wife and, oh yeah, he’s already married and has a wife back in Italy.
The doctor acts as though he knows Silvestri is really talking about himself, telling him that the authorities must report all cases of leprosy and that the victims will spend the rest of their lives in a leper colony. He shoots at the doctor and runs off. He tries to get himself on a ship for home without going through the proper procedures but has no luck. He runs away again, sees a man (an Italian) being executed, he then tries to buy his way onto another ship as a stowaway but doesn’t have 30,000 lire to cover it. While moping around, becoming more and more parnoid and convinced he has leprosy, he runs into the eccentric major again who takes him to a brothel and then, on their way back to the major’s camp, they spot an army of rebels coming down from the mountains and stop to let them pass. He robs the major to get the money to buy himself on to the ship, having taken the bullets out of the major’s gun so he can’t stop him as he starts walking back to town. He doesn’t get back to town but wanders back to the same native village he thinks Marian was from. He makes nice with the locals, gives up on the ship home and decides he wants to stay with the natives because he’s ‘sick in his soul’.
This is not a well known movie and not a well reviewed one in the vast majority of cases. I just found it, again, bizarre and pointless. Some have argued that there is a deeper meaning and that it’s really some profound work but, seriously, you have to stretch things pretty far for that. Any deeper meaning you get out of this is one YOU came up with, not the filmmakers. I don’t think it’s terrible. There was some good acting on display and you do get the message that this is about a man wrestling with his conscience but it is a message hammered into you relentlessly. I did not find it deep or meaningful, just odd, disjointed and, by the end, I just see no real reason for it. This is not an easy movie to find if you want a copy but it’s sufficiently poorly rated to be featured on Hulu so those interested can watch it free on-line. I would not encourage anyone to but, if you have ‘time to kill’ I would not discourage anyone from watching it either.