Seven Days

 

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An Italian drama that starts mysteriously and then takes a different direction.

 
Seven Days

Bruno Todeschini and Alessia Barela

 

Here's a film that readily brings to mind one of the classics of Italian cinema. Like Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960), Seven Days is set on an island off the south coast of Italy and it too sets off in one direction only to go forward in another. On the first of the seven days covered in this narrative we meet Ivan (Bruno Todeschini) and Chiara (Alessia Barela).  Both have come to the island, now reduced to a community of only twenty-six, to arrange something on behalf of Richard (Marc Barbé) and Francesca (Linda Olsansky), he being Richard's brother and she a close friend of Francesca. Before too long we discover the nature of the event due to take place seven days hence, but initially it is wrapped in enough mastery - including talk of a now derelict lighthouse - to make us feel that this lies at the centre of the tale.

 

However, as the film proceeds, we discover that the real focus is on Ivan and Chiara and the attraction that grows up between them in this period of preparation before the others arrive bringing with them Stefano (Gianfelice Imparato) who also has a significant role to play in the story. Unlike Antonioni, who in his film completely left behind the opening situation, Rolando Colla, the director and co-author here, is less ruthless, but even so the relationship between Ivan and Chiara becomes the crucial element and that in spite of the fact that Ivan's difficulty over loving prompts him to suggest at the outset a three-day affair that will then terminate completely.

 

Colla's film makes the most of its attractive Sicilian atmosphere with songs, be they performed live or just heard on the soundtrack, duly featured alongside scenes involving underwater photography. The cast is an able one and one finds Linda Olsansky bringing warmth to her supporting role, while the face of Aurora Quattrocchi admirably represents the elderly populace who have chosen to remain in situ while the island has become a backwater. However, what really counts here is the audience's response to the problematic relationship been the two main characters whose backgrounds are only gradually revealed. Differently written they might have emerged as characters about whom one could care: their possible chance of happiness even if it would be achieved at a cost to others might have mattered to us. But, as presented here, I found them a rather tiresome couple, and I was not won over by an ending that seemed set up to manipulate the emotions of the audience. Undoubtedly Seven Days is too modest to be any kind of a masterpiece, but audiences more ready than I to sympathise with Ivan and Chiara might well find it as appealing as its setting.

 

MANSEL STIMPSON

 

Cast: Bruno Todeschini, Alessia Barela, Aurora Quattrocchi, Linda Olsansky, Marc Barbé, Gianfelice Imparato, Fabrizio Pizzuto, Benedetto Ranelli, Catriona Guggenbrühl.

 

Dir Rolando Colla, Pro Emanuele Nespeca and Elena Pedrazzoli, Screenplay Heloise Adam, Nicole Borgeat, Rolando Colla and Olivier Lorelle, Ph Lorenz Merz, Pro Des Marcello Di Carlo, Ed Nicolas Chaudeurge and Rolando Colla, Music Bernd Schurer, Costumes Daniela Verdenelli.

 

Peacock Film AG/Solaria Film-Swipe Films.
96 mins. Italy/Switzerland. 2016. Rel: 15 September 2017. Cert. 15.