“Allacciate le cincture” (original title)
Directed by: Ferzan Özpetek
Story: Ferzan Özpetek
Screenplay: Ferzan Özpetek, Gianni Romoli
Cast: Kasia Smutniak, Francesco Arca, Filippo Scicchitano, Carolina Crescentini, Paola Minaccioni, Elena Sofia Ricci, Franscesco Scianna, Carla Signoris, Luisa Ranieri, Giulia Michelini
Elena and Antonio are certainly not made for each other. She – an intelligent girl from a good family, he – a cad, an illiterate mechanic. They are completely different – their nature, their life priorities; they see the world very differently. Nevertheless, they feel an irresistible, mutual attraction; both try hard not to acknowledge this. Not only because they have nothing in common, but also because Elena is dating an architect- Giorgio, and Antonio with her best friend- Sylvia. Regardless, their passion and love grows ever stronger – and they get married. A few years later, Elena’s life is not the way she dreamed, and her relationship with Antonio is getting worse with every passing day… Now Elena realizes that she may have made a tragic mistake when she agreed to tie the knot with Antonio…
Following the laws of ‘ladies’ novels, which means this film contains some very naughty scenes, Fasten Your Seatbelts has a story with great detail, while the plot itself develops slowly and has no surprises or mystery for the audience. The love story between the modest and well-groomed Elena and Antonio, who is not capable of controlling his ardor or his composure, evolves rapidly, with all the predictable consequences that come with marriage and the resulting difficulties that overshadow their original passion; only to bring it back.
By the middle of the film the plot is somewhat slack and it seems that Ferzan Özpetek prepares us for a happy ending, where everyone, as in fairy tales, after going through all these unimaginable difficulties, live happily ever after. Surprisingly, Fasten Your Seatbelt” truly makes us fasten our seatbelts, and suddenly turns a seemingly predictable relationship and unhappy marriage into a philosophical drama, where Ferzan Özpetek and Gianni Romoli try to open up to the audience a prism of carnal pleasures and formal relations. This unexpected, composite, turnaround makes Fasten Your Seatbelts interesting to watch and worthy of our time. As we anxiously watch; we grow nervous- unsure of what else Özpetek/Romoli will bring us.
Ferzan Özpetek, is a Turkish filmmaker based in Italy which allows for wide distribution of his feature film both in Turkey and in Italy. “Fasten Your Seatbelt” was presented for a David di Donatello Award and nominated in almost all the major categories, however, received none.
The actors, by the way, did a great job – the events of the first and second half of the film take 10 years to portray; to portray Elena, Kasia Smutniak loses a few pounds, and vice versa Francesco Arca, who played Antonio, gained more than 10 kilograms. While, for the rest of the cast, makeup was the only way to help them transform themselves into their characters after ten years.
Ferzan Özpetek once again does not disappoint his loyal audience, making his Fasten Your Seatbelts suitable for young audiences as well as mature audiences. A Love story, gracefully intertwined with a philosophical drama, which does not overwhelm the viewers with unnecessary reflections and polysyllabic narration. Under a wonderful soundtrack, by Pasquale Catalano, the spectator unwittingly begins to empathize with the beautiful Elena and the rough Antonio. After all, is that not all a film needs to be considered as success?
Sunday, November 30th, 3:00PM, Royal Cinema