Italian romantic drama film Malena was directed and written by Giuseppe Tornatore(Cinema Paradiso) from a story by Luciano Vincenzoni. It is a coming of age story that takes place in the fascist Sicily, in the fictional town Castelcuta.
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The music for the film was written by the legendary composer, Ennio Marricone. Touching melody bridges various scenes. It may seem that music plays one more role in the film and is like a true character. It supplements the plot and is used sometimes instead of words. Malena is a moving film that deals with many problems. Every deed is very eloquent although the main character, Malena Scordia, barely speaks a word. Instead her words we hear the melody that helps describe her feelings and thoughts better than words can do.
Giuseppe Tornatore used a sepia-liked tone that gives the effect of an old film. The usage of old colors helps believe that the whole story took place long time ago, in 1940. Such colors are always associated with Italy, sunny and warm land.
Tornatore uses soft pastels for the clothes of the main heroine. Such colors do not make her look plain; on the contrary, they emphasize Malena’s natural beauty. From the very beginning of the film, her costumes differ significantly from the clothes of other actors. Malena’s dresses, blouses and skirts are stylish (for that time) and elegant. In the end of the film, one can notice that she wears the same clothes as every woman in the town. It is made deliberately, to show that she is not ‘fam fatal’ any more, she becomes ordinary.
The various camera shot angles and distance shots highlight the beauty of the main heroine. For example, in the scene when Malena was half-lying in the chair with her wet hear dripping on the floor, close-up shots are used to emphasize the perfection of her face and body.
Giuseppe Tornatore managed to create the real masterpiece where every detail was thought through.