Country: Italy / Spain
Review:“Twice Born” is an Italian drama set amidst war in the Balkan Peninsula. Penelope Cruz stars in the main role, in her second collaboration with film director Sergio Castellitto, eight years after “Don’t Move”. The plot was based on Margaret Mozzantini’s novel with the same name, and describes the complex story of Gemma, whose unexpected trip to Sarajevo, will make her remind the years in which she gained a son in anomalous circumstances but failed to keep the love of her life. By diving in Gemma’s past, we get to know the difficulties she went through until go back to Rome with a child in her hands. The direction was tolerable, yet the film exhibits some senseless situations that left me perplexed. Sometimes these situations were so ridiculous or inept that I was completely left adrift, trying to seize what Castellito wanted to show with them. We have the example of a psychologist who starts to cry after a child has been refused to Gemma for adoption, or a friendly soccer game in the streets that suddenly becomes aggressive, or even some emotional bursts from the characters that seemed completely overdramatized and out of balance. This indulgent posture, even if occasional, removed any possible impact when weighty revelations were made. Despite the auspicious story, “Twice Born” was never catchy, showing lack of strength in the most fundamental moments.