V. Lepistö 🏳️🌈’s review published on Letterboxd:
MIDNIGHT SUN FILM FESTIVAL 2016, film #2
Brilliant though painful laughter that leads its roots to the impossibility of something bigger than human. Ideology's impossibility gains its expression in this portrait of society in which everything people do is personal. How can one dedicate oneself to anything else but him/herself? The weakness and sadness that lays behind the lines of the film gives it, its emotional power. People struggle between conscience and love, they are tired of being themselves but we have learned that heroes do not exist.
The settings of this film are the streets of Rome and for one happy afternoon, its countryside. Every time we spend time in the city, our nostrils are filled with smell of death that is born out of cowardice. But Wertmüller also questions this cowardice. Can people really be cowards if it is impossible to fight for pure causes? Because there is nothing pure in this world except love that we are ready to give away because somehow we foresee that it doesn't really exist in such a world after all. If everything is uncertain, it is hard dedicate oneself to anything.
The whole world seems to be a carnival. The characters live in an era in which much greater things are happening than themselves but they are something so big that they are even unable to think about reaching them. The humanity of the film is heady and crippling at the same time. Ultimately it sings its song for freedom and laughs at us for being too blind to see it. Too blind to enjoy what we have here, too stubborn in our thoughts that life is empty. But it is not a film that supports fascism or submission. It rather cries because we are more or less forced to support fascism, the unfairness that the world has created for itself. It would be easy to just let go and enjoy but that would be subservience.
We aren't given many choices in our life and we are unable to take hold of our lives and that is the main source for the chaotic comedy of the film - there's simply too many conflicts every time we are under the need to choose. And every choice we make contains at least touch of something evil; there is no purely good or purely bad choices. It would be easy then.