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AN INSIPID CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE...
on 20 September 2001
This is a somewhat insipid film, based upon a true story. It tells the tale of Kuki Gallman (Kim Basinger), a somewhat immature woman in Italy who marries a man, Paolo (Vincent Perez), of whom she knows little. She and he, together with her young son, move to Africa, where they buy a large, run down ranch in Kenya.
Having moved there to make a new life, she finds that her new husband has wanderlust in his soul, as well as a lust for danger and excitement, and is not much of a homebody. She is pretty much left to run the ranch and the household herself, while worrying whether her husband will return home safely from his hunting excursions with his friends. As they adjust to their new life, however, they form a deep love for Africa. Over the years, a series of mishaps and personal tragedies befall her, none of which make her lose her abiding love for Africa, where she chose to remain, despite entreaties from her mother to return home to Italy.
Kim Basinger and Vincent Perez give competent performances, as does the supporting cast, given the material with which they have to work. The cinematography is wonderful. What is wrong with the picture is that it is shallow. One never really seems to care about the characters. Nothing is ever fully explored or fleshed out. The director touches on a number of significant themes, but all are passed over, as if deemed unimportant. Consequently, the movie just aimlessly meanders along, a pleasant, though unimportant, cinematic experience.