IN writer/director Paolo Virzi’s Italian kind-of “Thelma and Louise”, Beatrice and Donatella become friends in a psychiatric institution then walk out with neither money nor permission.
Valeria Bruno Tedeschi’s volatile portrayal of Beatrice’s mild case of bipolar, whose chief misdemeanor seems to have been an overweening opinion of her right to live beyond the luxurious nut-house (apparently Italy closed that class of asylum only a couple of years ago), makes a dry meal of the film’s comic elements. But the screenplay gives her that function to reflect the pitiable case of Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti), in the institution after being convicted of murdering her babe-in-arms son and attempting suicide by jumping off a railway bridge into the sea.
The two women strike sparks from each other as they steal cars, make fools of lustful men, walk out of restaurants without paying and generally flaunt social conventions and responsibilities that might impede their progress.
Toward the end of the film, Donatella has to make a heart-wrenching decision that forms the main arm of the narrative. But on its journey to that point, while its narrative core is valid enough, the film’s structure and continuity are both a bit flabby.