EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BEEKEEPER, THE (O MELISSOKOMOS) (director/writer: Theo Angelopoulos; screenwriter: Dimitrus Nollas; cinematographer: Giorgios Arvanitas; editor: Takis Yannopoulos; music: Eleni Karaindrou; cast: Marcello Mastroianni (Spyros), Nadia Mourouzi (Hitchhiker), Jenny Roussea (Anna, Spyros' Wife), Serge Reggiani (Sick Man), Dinos Iliopoulos (Spyros' Friend), Iakovos Panotas (Soldier); Runtime: 117; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Theo Angelopoulos; Fusion Media; 1986-Greece/France-in Greek with English subtitles)|
gives a superb performance."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A melancholy metaphysical road film about an unhappy sixtysomething taking to the road to find out if life is still worth living. Marcello Mastroianni gives a superb performance as the retired schoolteacher and still active beekeeper, who is on a mission of self-discovery. It's directed by Greece's best known modern-day filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos ("Eternity and a Day"/"The Weeping Meadow"/"Landscape in the Mist"), who cowrites it with Dimitrus Nollas.
Morose, inarticulate Spyros
(Marcello Mastroianni) seems preoccupied with his
thoughts, as he and his wife Anna (Jenny Roussea) hold
a wedding reception for their daughter in their modest
family home. After the ceremony Spyros goes on his
annual spring field trip with his beehives to gather
flowers around various sites in Greece. Anna retreats
to Athens to stay with their college student son, as
the long-time married couple separate. On the road, at
a gas station stop, Spyros has a mixed-up
but attractive teenage girl (Nadia Mourouzi) talk
herself into getting a ride with him in his truck. The
carefree girl brings life to a lifeless protagonist,
as she's seductive, apparently without family or
destination, and attaches herself to him because she
feels safe and in need of support. He provides
cigarettes, food and a hotel room. She even has the
audacity to bring her soldier pickup to screw her
while he sleeps in the other bed.
Warning: spoiler in
the next paragraph.
alienated Spyros becomes obsessed with the nameless
girl, as they keep separating and reuniting while
traveling through small dumpy towns and through some
gorgeous mountain locations. That he can no longer
make a connection anymore with his oldest friends, his
family or with contemporary Greek society, leads to a
tragic conclusion that's charged with deep emotional
pain. The uncomplaining protagonist never says much
throughout, as his emptiness speaks volumes for the
disillusioned man who is preparing to surrender
himself in silence to everything he thought he once
knew about life and in an act of desperation
surrenders his life to his bees.
REVIEWED ON 8/8/2011 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ