This great Italian flick is based on one thing, and that thing is that Monica Bellucci is super hot. In every other scene, she is half-naked, naked, or preparing to be naked. Just to be clear, this is a plus. However, that’s not the only beautiful thing in this movie. The cinematography was simply stunning with saturated colors and lively Italian setting add that exotic vibe to it. However, to think that Malena is a happy-go-lucky movie would be a mistake. This is a deeply melancholic movie with superb character development behind the impactful visuals.
The story is set during world war two, and in a small Italian town all the eyes are pointed at one person, and that person is of course Malena. Among the admirers of her looks is a young boy Renato, he becomes obsessed with her, and will do anything to make her fall for him. However, Renato and Malena do not live alone in this town. There are a lot of people who have different feelings for her and when someone is this polarizing, trouble seems to follow…
Giuseppe Tornatore who gained world fame with his movie Nuovo Cinema Paradiso , established it with Una pura formalità  and finally reached the summit with La Migliore Offerta, combined three elements in this movie to create an atmosphere of a small town. Beautiful and highly sexual Malena, coming-of-age story of Renato and finally the environment of a small town. Older people view some of those elements as vanished in today’s society. And they add a lot of others to the story.
There are no local beauties, coming-of-age stories all involve the Internet and the atmosphere of a small town with its established rules is almost non-existent in big cities where you don’t even know your neighbors. This sorrow for times that have passed is something that people just can’t shake in their tribal mentality. They feel lost and they’re constantly looking for their shepherd in this modern world of “democracy”. This is the story behind the rise of populism in the world and especially in Italy. Add to this the mob mentality and you can use this movie to study how all these elements work together to create one hell of a toxic environment.
Wrapped or warped by sexuality, Malena is a movie that you better check out and find out firsthand what the hell is going on. I have to admit that the first time I saw it, I couldn’t get past Monica’s charms and I completely missed all the other parts of the story. Now, I was able to fully appreciate everything in this very complex movie. Enjoy.
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Cast: Monica Bellucci, Giuseppe Sulfaro, Luciano Federico, Matilde Piana, Pietro Notarianni, Gaetano Aronica
Fun Stuff: Guiseppe Sulfaro stated in a interview that he had never seen a live naked woman and that Monica Belucci was the first.