Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)

JOHN MADDEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  United Kingdom/France/USA, 2001.  , , , , , .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Christian Bale in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Simplistic adaptation of Louis De Bernieres’ novel about romance between enemies on an occupied Greek island in World War II, with lives against the backdrop of oppression reduced to constant close-ups of two Hollywood stars making eyes at each other. As Pelagia, the film’s main heroine,  does an adequate job, but with a weak script behind her that offers her character no finely tuned depth there’s very little for her to do but look pretty and deliver her few good lines well.   is sadly ridiculous as the Captain of the Italian troops sent in by Mussolini to watch over the dissident Greeks after they’ve defeated them in Albania, and his character’s titular instrumentation is reduced to a couple of handy musical scenes. Other than that, it’s a fairly enjoyable sudser, with appropriately beautiful cinematography of Cephallonia and a standout performance by  as the Jedi-wise Doctor and father to Pelagia. Greek culture is captured satisfactorily, though with a bit too much effort by the production designers, but the real awkwardness comes from the bad casting of , who never makes his Greek accent stick, his Greek dancing work nor his character seem like anything crucial to the story. Also features a great performance by the perennial Greek movie star .

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