“WHO WILL SAVE THE ROSES?”— Intense and Personal


Intense and Personal

Amos Lassen

“Who Will Save the Roses” is a love story between two old men, one of them is sick and stays in bed all day, the other is a gambler who takes care of him, visit him every day and has a hard relationship with his daughter. Sometimes love is the only solution, but we realize it when it’s too late.

Giulio Santelia (Carlo Delle Piane) is an elderly gentleman who left practicing law and made poker his profession.  Giulio has devoted himself to his love affair with Claudio (Lando Buzzanca). Giulio has an off/on stormy relationship with his daughter, Valeria (Caterina Murino), even though she loves Claudio.  Valeria has a son named Marco (Antonio Careddu), who she raised alone and who adores his “grandparents”.  Marco seems to have inherited his grandfather’s love for poker but has little success with it.  When Claudio falls seriously ill, all the love gets picked up by Giulio in a rose, brought to his bedside each morning.  Claudio stops playing poker, and not long after the money runs out. Giulio is then forced to fire the gardener, the cook and even sell the furniture.  Giulio takes different tasks, so as to keep his beloved Claudio, unaware of the situation.  But his love is not enough.  There is the need for something else and help is needed.

Director Cesare Furesi gives us many things to think about with this film about the dwindling days for an elderly, utterly devoted gay couple. One is bedridden, the other is involved in a dishonest career. We meet them at a time for telling secrets and having reluctant reunions. They experience a brief last ‘hooray’ looking back back to the glory days before all the money was spent and life was a heady mix of euphoria and roses.

This is a sweet film but with stings that are weirdly gentle and delivered kindly.  In fact, deceit and manipulation have never been so well-mannered nor effective. Giulio gets what he wants, by any means possible…and does so with grace and the finest of intentions.

In less capable hands, this could have been a clumsy, overly-sentimental melodrama…but Cesare Furesi’s precise and delicate direction, the opposite has been achieved. The music swells and lulls in all the right places but, the real star of this show is the cinematography. Then there is Carlo Delle Piane whose Giulio has just the right amount of playful vulnerability and is filled with love with alongside a wicked sense-of-humor and deception.

“Who Will Save the Roses?” has depth and warmth and is a beautiful, heartfelt story that is told perfectly.

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