Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saverio Costanzo - La solitudine dei numeri primi aka The Solitude of Prime Numbers (2010)
Two youngsters discover that they are doomed to live parallel lives, always linked but never joined. One has to deal with the effects of a serious skiing accident while the other must come to grips with negligence that led to the death of a sister. As they grow into adults they discover that their singularity results in solitude.
Based on Paulo Giordano’s phenomenal book, which turned the first-time writer into a bestselling celebrity in Europe, The Solitude of Prime Numbers marks a welcome return for director Saverio Constanzo, whose Private was a Festival Discovery film in 2004.
Giordano, a twenty-seven-year-old author with a Ph.D. is physics, based his novel on the idea that his two main characters are like prime numbers; they can only be divided by one and themselves, so they are always joined but forever separated. Using this underlying structure he proceeds to tell the intertwined stories of Mattia (Luca Marinelli) and Alice (Alba Rohrwacher) from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, a narrative of overlap where the two of them live parallel lives but never become romantically involved with each other.
The story begins with the young Alice nearly losing her leg in a ski accident, and Mattia deserting his mentally-challenged sister for a party, only to have her disappear due to his negligence. These moments scar each of them, and as they grow into teenagers and then adults, they find themselves dealing with their essential separateness from society. Mattia becomes a brilliant mathematician and Alice a photographer, but their personal lives are a constant work-in-progress. High school is a challenge for both of them as they fall victim to the teen jealousies and rivalries of the fashionable in-crowd. Constantly struggling to assert their independence and uniqueness, they find that life is constantly full of unexpected twists.
Like the novel, the spell of the film lies in the echoes that the two protagonists find in each other’s lives, and what they make of them. As Alice and Mattia mature and grope towards understanding, they find themselves confronting parents and friends who are alternatively fascinated and repelled by their singularity. Troubling, complex and compelling, The Solitude of Prime Numbers is a wonderful portrait of differences.
eng subs incl.