Directed by: Federico Olivetti
Script by: Luciano Colavero, Carlo Orlando, Giacinto Palmarini, Federico Olivetti
Played by: Giacinto Palmarini, Ilaria Natali, Silvia Luzzi
Photography: Tiziano Casanova
“The Guest” tells the story of a man who, after the loss of his father, seeks comfort in a little bed and breakfast run by a harsh mother and her ficle young daughter, Orsola (Ilaria Natali). The guest (Giacinto Palmarini) soon discovers that the relationship between mother and daughter is rotten and filled with verbal and physical abuse. In a morbid twist of the story, instead of a hero, the guest turns out to be a villan, first enjoying, and finally even taking part in the abuse.
Federico Olivetti’s „The Guest“ is maybe closer to the real life sitations – since the domestic abuse is at best ignored, at worst perpetuated by those who dicovered it – but one can not miss the morbid feel of the movie. Giancinto Palmarini’s character enters the movie with the feeling of loss which the viewer attribute to the recent loss of his father. But soon, we have to wonder if his sadness was more due to the loss of a victim than to a loss of his father. When the guest first learns about the abuse his shock is soon replaced by excitement and he keeps making sure that Orsola is further punished. When you watch the film for the first time, you are inclined to forgive him this behavior at first on the account of grief and confusion. But on the second watch, Guest’s struggle looks more like releaving the past abuse, wheater he was the victim or the abuser. And when he decides to go back to Orsola to „finish the job“ his eagerness and calmness tells the story of a man who’s not doing it for the first time.
The movie sets and photography are very good. The atmosphere they made is artsy, vintage and melancholic. The script left a lot of holes for the viewer to fill, especially when it comes to the characters’ motivation. It is hard to watch a movie twice to understand all the emotions and nauances. Iliria Natali and Giancinto Palmarini gave great performances – it can’t be easy telling a story about abuse and emotional instability. All in all, although the theme’s very heavy the mood and atmosphere of the movie was spot on.