Film & TV

ST.ALi Italian Film Festival: The Ties

Life, love, and infidelity, through 30 years of the same family

Daniele Luchetti has been in filmography for over thirty years. Since his memorable 1988 debut film (as director) It’s Happening Tomorrow, he has continued to excel. His latest film The Ties, has already received David di Donatello and Nastro d’Argento nominations for 2021, and was an official selection at both the Toronto and Zurich Film Festivals last year.

Based on the 2014 novel by Domenico Starnone, The Ties explores concepts of marriage, loyalty, filiality, toxic relationships, love, and generational trauma. The concept of romantic and family ties is visually represented in the film, with a symbolic scene of the son who learnt to tie his shoelaces from dad.

It begins with a party in Naples with Hungry Hearts Italian Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Alba Rohrwacher as the young Vanda, and long-time film favourite Luigi Lo Cascio as her husband, Aldo. Using the expertise of costume designer Massimo Cantini Parrini, we see beautiful Italian fashions, which continue throughout the film. After the party, from his confession, we learn about Aldo’s affair with co-worker Lidia (Linda Caridi).

The characters in this film become real with each of the cast bringing to life the roles with full intensity. Vanda is the distraught and emotionally stuck wife who struggles to accept the infidelity or move on, and Rohrwacher’s ability to capture the look both emotionally and physically is persuasive. Orlando cast as Aldo is introverted and indecisive, frustrating for Vanda as a husband. His role as a father is, in interactions with the kids portrayed as a good father, yet as he is unable to let go of ego, pride and prestige, he becomes physically and emotionally absent.

Both husband and wife are equally flawed in this film. In the beginning I felt sympathetic with Vanda, who was the innocent, however as the film progresses it becomes apparent that she is not particularly commendable herself. They both torment each other and so some thirty years later, with Silvio Orlando as Aldo and Laura Morante as Vanda, we see that they have stayed together in a toxic relationship. Neither has really moved on from the infidelity, and are bitter, resentful, and full of regret at lives wasted.

An incredibly introspective film worth watching, with a slow pace to match; it asks the question, was it the infidelity that destroyed the relationship, and affected their children, or was it their flaws and treatment towards each other thereafter? You will need to watch it and decide for yourself.

The Ties screens as part of the ST. ALi Italian Film Festival at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect.

Click here to book tickets.

A provocative reflection on infidelity 4 stars

[adrotate banner="159"]
To Top