"Così come sei" (Stay As You Are), a 1978 film directed by Alberto Lattuada, is an Italian-Spanish erotic drama that delves into the complexities of an intergenerational relationship.
Marcello Mastroianni, embodying the suave yet emotionally torn older man, Guiliano, effortlessly captures the essence of a character entangled in a web of desire and anxiety. Nastassja Kinski, as the youthful and enigmatic Francesca, exudes a magnetic charisma that complements Mastroianni's performance beautifully. Their on-screen chemistry is undeniable, making their unconventional relationship quite believable.
Lattuada's direction intertwines melodrama with elements of psychological exploration, steering clear of gratuitous eroticism, instead highlighting the emotional implications of such a relationship. The film, while exploring the theme of forbidden love, subtly underscores the psychological impact of such liaisons on the individuals involved.
Ennio Morricone’s haunting score adds another layer to the narrative, embodying the tumultuous emotions that the characters experience. It goes beyond mere background music, instead becoming an integral part of the storytelling process.
"Così come sei" is beautifully shot, with excellent use of locations. Rome, with its timeless architecture, serves as an almost poetic backdrop to this complex love story.
Despite its somewhat controversial plot, "Così come sei" does an excellent job of presenting a sincere and thoughtful exploration of a delicate subject. The performances are superb, the direction is solid, and the music is unforgettable.