"La donna della domenica" presents a fascinating crime tale set in the upper crust of Turin society. Directed by Luigi Comencini, the movie weaves a narrative filled with suspicion, secrets, and psychological tension. At the center of the story is Police Commissioner Salvatore Santamaria, impeccably portrayed by Marcello Mastroianni, tasked with solving the murder of an architect. Jacqueline Bisset plays Anna Carla Dosio, an enigmatic and wealthy woman deeply embroiled in the case.
The casting of Mastroianni and Bisset proves to be one of the film’s strongest points. Mastroianni’s subtle performance adds complexity to his character, who has to navigate a labyrinthine social network where appearances are deceptive. Bisset's role as the alluring yet secretive Anna Carla Dosio adds layers of intrigue to the already puzzling case.
One of the compelling aspects of the film is its portrayal of Turin society. Comencini delves into the world of the elite, with their social machinations and hidden vices. It's a society where relationships are transactional, and everyone has something to hide. The class tensions that underpin the film add an additional layer of complexity to the investigation, and the story serves as a snapshot of 1970s Italy, complete with its social and moral contradictions.
The cinematography by Luigi Kuveiller is visually striking, capturing the elegance and decadence of Turin's high society. The film's pacing is methodical, allowing the story to unfold naturally while building suspense. The screenplay, based on the novel by Carlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini, is intricate but well-constructed, giving each character enough room to evolve.
Though the film may not pack the adrenaline punch associated with typical crime thrillers, it offers an intellectual satisfaction that is often missing from the genre. The story’s strength lies in its character studies and in the delicate unravelling of tangled human relationships.
In summary, "La donna della domenica" is an engaging crime mystery with a touch of social commentary. It combines excellent performances with a complex narrative to offer a film that is not just about solving a murder but also about understanding the intricacies of human behavior and societal norms. It’s a must-watch for fans of Italian cinema and those who appreciate a cerebral approach to the crime genre.