Cheryl P. from LAS VEGAS, NV Reviewed on 5/23/2014...
not very good
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Eric H. from HUNTINGBURG, IN Reviewed on 1/10/2010...
i loved this movie
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gann Q. (AZaz09) from DAVIS, CA Reviewed on 10/14/2008...
1 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Beautiful Story, Music, and Scenery--A Triple Treat Movie
Antoinette Klein | Hoover, Alabama USA | 08/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage) epitomizes the best qualities of Italian men---in love with life, women, and music. His arrival on a small Greek island and falling in love at first sight with Pelagia (Penelope Cruz) is a beautiful love story with World War II's bloody battles as a backdrop. Cage performs superbly as the invader who makes friends with the enemy and is later startled by the ruthlessness of his German allies. Penelope Cruz is also outstanding as the highly-educated daughter of the village doctor (John Hurt) who is engaged to her intellectual inferior Mandras (Christian Bale.) The passion between Corelli and Pelagia is fraught with tension that erupts in a beautifully-directed love scene. Despite the great love story, it is perhaps the character of Mandras who is most compelling as his feelings for Pelagia are revealed and his actions toward Corelli round out his mysterious nature. I have never read the book, but would love to do so now in order to see a fuller development of the intriguing Mandras. Also notable among a cast of fine performances are those of Irene Pappas as the spirited mother of Mandras who realizes what is happening between Pelagia and Corelli, as well as David Morrissey as the German captain who battles personal feelings with his unquestionable support for Hitler. The music and singing in this movie is excellent. To borrow one of my favorite lines from the movie: Heil, Hitler, Heil Puccini! Listening to the Italian soldiers singing "Santa Lucia" and other great works from the Italian masters was alone worth the cost of admission. Add Corelli's beautiful playing of his mandolin and the idyllic setting of the Greek island of Cephalonia and you have a movie I highly recommend seeing."
Melodramatic yet interesting.
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 08/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Watching "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" is like reading a paperback romance novel: it's full of melodrama and passion, and you can guess, for the most part, what will come of the situations they must face in order to stay together. Director John Madden, who directed the glorious "Shakespeare in Love," hasn't lost his touch with striking set pieces and vistas, though his plot pacing here tends to dwindle at times. The film takes place on the island of Ceppalonia in Greece, where the young peasant Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), and her father, Dr. Iannis (John Hurt), live in peace. At the time, World War II rages in Europe, though the town cannot begin to believe that they could possibly be affected in the future. Even Pelagia's fiancée, Mandras (Christian Bale), believes that once he arrives at the battle fronts, there will be little to accomplish. But the war soon grows, and the alliance between Germany and Italy leads to the occupation of various Grecian islands by Italian forces, including Ceppalonia. It is here that Pelagia meets Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage), who makes a mockery of her beauty in front of his men but refuses her bed when he arrives at the doctor's home to stay. This begins their slowly building romance, which begins with her contempt for him over their circumstances of his arrival, and resonates into something more. Madden handles the film with a style that is impeccable, filling his canvas with vibrant colors and set pieces. Ceppalonia is seen as a place of beauty, even amidst the fervor of war, from the lush greenery of forests and plants to the colorful clothing and elaborate homes. However, the plot meanders aimlessly in certain scenes, mostly in the third act after the Germans have invaded Ceppalonia and are forcing the Italians out. Armies bombing one another, German bombers swooping down on Italians soldiers, troop transports arriving on the shores of the island... it all seems to a bit dull. What Madden does get right is the conveyance of a community torn apart by war, as people are driven from their homes and families are separated. Which leads me to the love story: there's nothing new to the romance except for the backdrop, and it takes some familiar turns. We know that they have to eventually fall in love; it's a given due to their discomfort with one another in the beginning. We also know that, at some point, their love will be put in jeopardy due to the extremities of war that surround them. But that rarely matters here, because Cage and Cruz fit into their roles exquisitely. Cage does some very impressive work as Corelli, not just with his Italian accent, but with his force and emotion as an actor. This works well with Cruz's Pelagia, who is modest yet strong in her morals. The two share a very warm chemistry together, and that makes some of the more familiar aspects of their romance seem new and invigorating. "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" won't earn a place in history as "Shakespeare in Love," though it manages to engage us in a romantic story that is overall pleasing. This epic of love and war will leave some listless while others with be fascinated; I fell in between the two."
A cinematic reminder of how terrible war is.
J. Sutherland | Southport, North Carolina United States | 08/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Captain Corelli's mandolin was a disturbing movie. I give it props for showing how terrible war can be. It's also a love story but I thought it was more about how the Greeks and the Italians were trying to live a normal life in spite of the war that their two countries were involved in. This movie shows the effects that war can have on an individual. I'd rather not give away any of the scenes in the movie but you'll have to trust me when I tell you this movie is disturbing and sad. It was slow and boring at first but it became more and more interesting as it went on. The romance between Cage and Cruz was pretty realistic and believable. And even though I don't like Penelope Cruz very much, I thought she was competent in this movie. Cage was very good, not his best performance but not his worst. I thought Christian Bale gave the best performance in the movie. He has always been good ever since "Emperor of the sun" with John Malkovich. The actor that played Cruz's father was also very good. The best aspects about this film are it's realism in terms of the problems facing man in war, and the music. There were some very beautiful moments in the film because of the music that Corelli plays on his Mandolin. The song that he writes for Pelagia is beautiful. If you like hearing the mandolin then go see the film. And if you like a good war movie go see it also. I liked it very much, it was emotionally moving, and it had some very beautiful moments."
READ THE BOOK!
J. Sutherland | 10/31/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing this movie I was COMPLETELY upset at how thoroughly the directer managed to ruin a beautiful story. This movie does not come remotely close to doing justice to the book itself. This story is so "Hollywood-ized" they add sex where it is completely unnecessary, romanticize a story about life, war, and TRUE LOVE, and the screenwriters completely change the story line around! I was most offended when one of the most noble characters of the book, Carlo Guercio, was competely downplayed to the point where I had no emotion towards the movie character at all. The book, Corelli's Mandolin, is a beautifully written story that made me laugh and cry all at the same time. I felt smarter just reading it because De Bernieres uses a plethora of vocabulary words that rarely appear in everyday conversation. The story is about life itself, and it is full of lessons that a person can apply to make themself a better person. DONT SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! READ THE BOOK! I guarantee, it is completely worth the time."
A Quiet Romance
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 05/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those who could not see the beauty in this wonderful film were only using their eyes, and not their heart. Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a visually gorgeous and emotionally rich story of the beautiful Greek island of Cephallonia and its people during WWII. It is a slowly developing story of love and tradition amidst the awkwardness of war. We get a hint from the very beginning what this film is about as we hear the voice-over of the island's doctor, John Hurt: "Ask not why we are wounded, but if the wound can be healed."
Hurt gives a wonderful performance as the island's doctor and the wise father of Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), who he is training to be a doctor as well. Cruz's fawn-like beauty only serve to enhance a fine and subtle performance of inner emotional turmoil. Pelagia is engaged to Mandras (Christian Bale) and their betrothal scene is one of the many traditions Madden lets us see as he slowly gives us a feel for the people of Cephallonia and their storied history.
But war looms on the horizon and though the Greeks initially beat back the Italians in Albania they are overtaken when German reinforcements arrive. War finally comes to the island in the form of life-loving and peaceful Captain Antonio Corelli. Corelli and his men are Italians by birth and soldiers only by necessity. He and his troop sing opera and share a lust for life. When he comes to stay in Pelagia's home in exchange for medical supplies to her father, love begins to unfold in a very quiet and careful manner.
Her betrothal to Mandras and the unwanted occupation of the Italians are stumbling blocks to their romance, however. Small and subtle moments like Pelagia's sitting back down to listen to Corelli play the mandolin, and her picking up a picture in his room and smiling tell us what is developing. After love fully blooms, forming a triangle, Hurt has a touching moment with his daughter, trying to explain to her what love really is. At the same time, the wise doctor has come to see in Corelli something he does not in Mandras, and relates the story of his courtship with Pelagia's mother. He was forced to leave the island in order to keep from being killed by her fiance.
Things become more complicated when the Italians surrender to the allies and the Germans are on their way to the island. Corelli comes to learn that the Germans will treat he and his men just as the enemy and must make a decision that will change all their lives. A promise made to Pelagia by one of Corelli's men saves him, but in order to save Pelagia he must leave Cephallonia in a scene that is quiet and moving, like the entire film.
When things return to normal on the island after the war, Pelagia becomes a doctor. But her wise father can see her pain and writes a letter to Corelli, in hopes that it will find him. Once again those words echo in our hearts: "Ask not why we are wounded, but if the wound can be healed."
This is a quiet and beautiful film, very much with an old Hollywood type feel to it. Though visually beautiful, this is food for the heart and not just the eyes. Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz are marvelous, as are John Hurt and all the other inhabitants of this magical place in time. We are so involved in this story that by the time Cage enters the picture we hardly notice his in and out Italian accent.
This is a film to lose yourself in and one that you will never forget if you view it not only with your eyes, but your heart as well. Only then will you see its true beauty."