Still Time 2023 Movie Review
The new film directed by Alessandro Aronadio , Era Ora , is an unconventional romantic comedy , presented in the Grand Public section at the 17th Rome Film Fest . Fourth feature film by the director, after Two lives by chance, Orecchie and Io c’è , this film (written together with Renato Sannio) is a free reinterpretation of the film Long Story Short by Josh Lawson , and stars the now usual Edoardo Leo and a splendid Barbara Ronchi , a couple grappling with the inexorable passage of time.
Dante (Edoardo Leo) and Alice (Barbara Ronchi) are a happy and loving couple, even if for Dante being punctual and dedicating himself to his private life becomes increasingly complicated.
Adapting to the rhythms that the working world and society require to make a career, he is dragged by a whirlwind of commitments and one day is not enough. On his fortieth birthday he arrives late to his party and the next morning nothing is as before: time begins to take over him, forcing him to make an important reflection on how to manage and regain control of his life .
Cinema as a sculpture of moments: “A director is a sculptor of the time ” , wrote a fine intellectual and filmmaker such as Andrej Tarkovsky, and he was certainly right. The history of cinema overflows with films whose starting point is a maieutic concept, an act of creating a new temporal rhythm, an invitation to abandon any comforting linear dimension by offering the viewer a different sensory experience.
So filmic time can be a journey into different eras; can be once destroyed; living someone else’s time (think of Woody Allen ‘s Midnight in Paris ); it can be a cyclical time, an actual time ( Richard Linklater’s Boyhood ); a journey through time. This is to say that time is not only a fascinating concept but it is also an important narrative element and a way of representing cinema itself: playing with filmic time, using different temporal planes, inserting space-time loops is a stylistic artifice. These expedients, dosed with creativity and supported by the right editing, can make the difference and make a work truly memorable.
Even in Era Ora there is a beautiful reflection on the passing of time, a wear and tear of (post?) Modern life that makes use of an editing and management of the filmic rhythm that is not linear but exponential. The story is a flow of events that present themselves to the viewer at a disarming speed; a contemporary representation of existence that seems almost heard at 2X like a vowel on the smartphone.
If there is a merit that must be given to Alessandro Aronadio, it is that he renders a story or a tale that would have a lot of banality in a way that is certainly not banal.
But the originality of the staging and the invitation to an almost psychoanalytical reflection on the events give the film a strong character despite the careless and light-hearted treatment, which risked locking the film into a superficial dimension and an already-seen sensation . Because – it must be said – the film’s originality certainly does not lie in the storytelling mechanism, but in the mixture of drama and sense of anguish tempered in an almost surreal way by a romanticism at all costs: a definitely unsettling mix.
The beautiful compositions of the shots make up for some flaws, such as the repetitive mechanism that gets tired after a while and an ending perhaps not up to expectations. However, there is a splendid cast alongside the two protagonists (we remember Mario Sgueglia , Francesca Cavallin and Andrea Purgatori in all their skill ), there is a convincing irony and a journey in search of wasted time.
Despite the surreal dimension there is also a lot of pain, because the story is tragic and comical at the same time, but it concerns all of us, because it speaks of life in this time and this space. If it is true that it is the story of Dante, a man who wants to have the right to feel in crisis ( It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want ), it is also true that it is a universal story, which truly involves us all ( You would cry too, if it happened to you , to quote the famous song used at the beginning of the film).
It is precisely in this feeling of being part of the drama, while trying to defuse it, in this sense of being spectators of a tragedy but schizophrenic listening to happy music, that there is certainly that something extra which for the director is a big step forward. And it was about time .