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The Libertine

Where to Watch The Libertine

R
1968

The Libertine, a delectable European film classic, features the remarkable talents of actors Jean Louis-Trintignant, Catherine Spaak, and Gigi Proietti. This 1969 offering from Pasquale Festa Campanile projects sexuality, wit, and cautionary undertones in a narrative that delves into human ego and the social constructs relating to romance, fidelity, and the preservation of social reputation.

The Libertine traces the story of Mimi (Catherine Spaak), a beautiful, free-spirited woman living in Rome, who teeters along the societal axes of respectability and scandal. This film bravely confronts the societal expectations tagged to gender roles and women's sexual freedom at the time.

Mimi is not your typical lady of high society; she is a learned woman, an acclaimed archeologist, and a woman who takes pride in her independence. Being an eligible bachelorette, she attracts the attention of many men, but she prefers to live life on her terms.

However, Mimi faces an unexpected turn of events when a car accident leaves her with a peculiar condition. Informed by her medical caregivers, she discovers that she now has an unusually heightened sexual drive.

This film aptly leverages the comedic and dramatic potential that this situation offers. Catering to her newfound urges, Mimi’s change in demeanor causes charming confusion within her social circle, leading to entertaining, funny, and complicated episodes that effectively underscore the film's themes.

Among her many suitors, those who stand out the most are Dr. Carlo De Marchi (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Fausto (Gigi Proietti). It is around these characters that most of the film's conflict and dynamic interaction revolves, providing the narrative its necessary romantic tug-of-war.

The sophisticated Dr. De Marchi, despite being blissfully married, finds himself helplessly drawn towards Mimi. In contrast, Faumi, a stubborn, passionate man, refuses to be deterred by Mimi's erratic behavior and does not hide his affection for her.

Each actor in The Libertine provides spectacular performances. Catherine Spaak, with her enchanting beauty and potent personification of Mimi, embodies a woman exploring her sexuality fearlessly yet with a humorous naivety. Jean-Louis Trintignant delivers an elegant and touching portrayal of a torn man risking all for an unorthodox love, while Gigi Proietti impresses with a lovable, unwavering devotion for Mimi, making his character a delight to watch.

Director Pasquale Festa Campanile's treatment of the premise is commendable. Although the basis of his narrative could have resulted in a lightweight, formulaic comedy, he does not shy away from introducing dialogues that resonate with deeper social commentary. The movie ably juxtaposes slapstick humor with solemn undertones, to mount societal criticisms on hypocrisy, sexual freedom, and moral decorum.

The film, shot in various parts of majestic Rome, also provides the audience with visual candy. A cinema piece from the late 60s, it offers an attractive insight into the lifestyle, fashion, and architecture of that era. The film's soundtrack, curated by Italian composer Armando Trovajoli, is a fantastic snippet of vintage European music that complements the film's unique ambiance.

The Libertine, with its curious storyline and memorable performances, weaves an enjoyable and thought-provoking tale of a woman's pursuit of sexual liberation. It's an intriguing watch for viewers who appreciate narrative depth, excellent character development, and a humorous exploration of societal norms and prejudices. This movie, despite the passage of many years, continues to remain a distinctive gem in the world of European cinema.

The Libertine is a Comedy, Drama, Romance movie released in 1968. It has a runtime of 90 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it no reviews, with an IMDb score of undefined..

How to Watch The Libertine

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Director
Pasquale Festa Campanile
Stars
Catherine Spaak, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Gigi Proietti
Also starring Catherine Spaak
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