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Story of a Love Affair - (Mr Bongo Films) (1950) [DVD]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2012
More often than not we influence the cards we are dealt in life. Worst of all is when we do something that starts a chain of events that cause us misfortune. Story of a Love Affair is a classic Italian film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni that is exactly about this subject.

When a wealthy businessman finds some old photographs of his wife Paola (Lucia Bose), he gets to wonder about her past. They have been married for seven years, since they met in 1943 during the war, but her history was always a mystery. Instead of asking her directly, he hires and investigator to look into what kind of woman she was before they met. He is partially motivated by curiosity, but mostly just jealousy.

And Paola's past certainly is mysterious. The story slowly unravels her past by the details the investigator uncovers by interviewing her former friends. The investigator's inquiries alert Paola's old boyfriend and actually brings him back into her life after all these years. Ironically, Paola's husband brings about trouble for himself with the investigator and helps his wife find the road to infidelity. We cannot help but see how much Paola must have changed in these seven years. She now lives the life of luxury and has no financial obstacles, while those she knew still struggle with daily living.

There are some subtle details that give this movie a deeper meaning weaved throughout the entire story, giving it a sophistication that will make this film appealing to those with fine taste. There is a strange balance of opposites in nearly everything that happens. When Guido reaches for Paola, she withdraws from him; when Paola reaches for Guido, he withdraws from her. Their love for each other always seems to be a beet or two off and they are never in synchrony. Their love for each other may be deep and strong, but it is a tormented one that never finds peace.

There is also a greater irony to the story. Paola can have the life of extravagance, but not a life with happiness. Paola could have a life with love, but not with lavishness. She is faced with these choices and it isn't too difficult to figure out which path she chooses.

While there are crimes of action or omission, is just thinking of a sin a crime as well? As we find out, Paola and Guido commit al three, but are any one of them less traumatic on their psyche? As you will see, Story of a Love Affair isn't a simple tale of adultery.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2008
This film by Michelangelo Antonioni was entirely charming in its deliverance and atmosphere. Anotonioni's depiction of this beautifully shot film is as ever laden with his trademark signs of unconventionality and symbolism and shows an incredibly personal snap shot of a mans life as he struggles to overcome his jealous nature and suspicious prejudices towards his wife.
A fantastic performance by Lucia Bose is perfectly balanced by the character of her lover, Guido (Massimo Girotti) which ensures that the film ropes the viewer into the dark and twirling worlds of clashing emotions and stark, vivid imagery.
A deeply enjoyable film, and a stirring performance from all makes this film a delightful addition to all who relish the cinematic compositions of the renowned director Michelangelo Antonioni and his unique style.
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