Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Rosi's adaptation of García Márquez's novel is an absorbing and unusual murder mystery set within a tiny South American community. A wealthy and mysterious stranger (Everett, cringingly affected) chooses a local girl (Muti) as his wife. No virgin, she is returned to her family on the wedding night, and the brothers determine to kill her previous lover. They brag their intentions around the village, yet no one intervenes. The tale is narrated, through interviews and flashbacks, by the dead man's best friend, returned home after a long absence to find the villagers still nursing their guilt. The simple facts hold no answers; the real clues lie in a web of tradition and centuries-old conditioning. The omnipresent Catholicism, the empty macho stances of the men, the strains of violence underlying strong familial bonds: these propel the action, giving the film an almost mystical aura. Although occasionally so languorously photographed that it almost grinds to a halt, the film is ultimately memorable.

Release details

Duration: 110 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Francesco Rosi
Screenwriter: Francesco Rosi, Tonino Guerra
Cast: Rupert Everett
Ornella Muti
Gian Maria Volonté
Irene Papas
Lucia Bosé
Alain Cuny

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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usman khawaja

this short but harrowing novel by marquez is brought to life by redi in this unforgettable chronicle which made a huge impression on me as a teenager , it is set in a latin american village where a man called nasar is knifed to death in the early hours of a hot colombian morning the whole village is expecting it to happen and nobody does anything to prevent it ,the scenario is very familiar to what is generally happening today worldover the movie is a testament to human failure to prevent evil from taking place when you have full knoweldge of the consequences of what your inaction will result in , a death foretold , a crime predicted yet allowed to occur , thus condoning the misdeed itself , what can be more heinous indeed the question it asks us is whether silence in oppsition to evil is just as evil itself the fascinating story takes place as a bride is sent back home as she is not a virgin [ornella muti ]by her husband nasar [antony delon ,son of alain delon ]on the night of their marriage , the brothers of the bride have to kill nasar as a ritual to avenge this act ,to save their family honor , everyone accepts it as a way of life , a custom to be executed and no one acts to stop a heinous crime the movie opens with the murder and then we are shown narratives and past and present conversations and interviews of various individuals who knew of it or even have witnessed it , there are no justifications given , no remorse felt , its an account of an execution , that has to happen in a matter of fact way, rather then as a probability. in fact the vicario brothers headed by volonte , celebrate the murder before they commit it and announce it publicly to redeem their honour -its cultural and religious overtones become a satire but a very subtle one as the writer is a genius and any excess is a violation and vulgarity .the script is complimented by perfect direction giving a haunting yet affectively memorable classic . this movie is is a harrowing account of human failure to prevent preconceived evil , so relevant and timeless in theme and concept to humanity for infinity, the cinematography is just spellbinding , the cast looks ravisihing [muti and delon were both sex icons in the 80s]and acts wonderfully , irene papas as the brides mother is superb she knows her daughter has lost her virginity, and can forsee the events but is helpless , delon in his role of the sacrificial lamb is magnificent as is muti[the rejected bride] , the murderous brothers play their negative parts with an indifference only the european cinema can achieve . the way they trap and kill the helpless victim is gruesome and hair raising , it is shown in graphic detail after bragging over a drunken bout . the location is cartagena in colombia and believe me its magnificent-a unesco world heritage site [ive been there] but it looks more captivating onscreen , a beautifully preserved sixteenth century walled city with gothic churches and red brick buildings with cloistered patios and exotic fountains galore. finally its a tribute is to the genius of marquez ,[ my favourite latin american author who wrote this short novel ,[quality not quantity] usually he is very prosaic and literary , with great details but here he is down to earth and absolutely matter of fact , as suits the theme ,he writes simply without embellishing the book with metaphors and the director does the same with the movie , the result is a truly haunting movie which is a must see though its subtitled ,every scene will linger in your memory forever, oh i forgot to mention redi was so apalled at everetts[english actor]spanish accent he had him dubbed. just a trivial detail... but this movie is a must see and endeavour to aquire it , as it is very hard to find

usman khawaja

this short but harrowing novel by marquez is brought to life by redi in this unforgettable chronicle which made a huge impression on me as a teenager , it is set in a latin american village where a man called nasar is knifed to death in the early hours of a hot colombian morning the whole village is expecting it to happen and nobody does anything to prevent it ,the scenario is very familiar to what is generally happening today worldover the movie is a testament to human failure to prevent evil from taking place when you have full knoweldge of the consequences of what your inaction will result in , a death foretold , a crime predicted yet allowed to occur , thus condoning the misdeed itself , what can be more heinous indeed the question it asks us is whether silence in oppsition to evil is just as evil itself the fascinating story takes place as a bride is sent back home as she is not a virgin [ornella muti ]by her husband nasar [antony delon ,son of alain delon ]on the night of their marriage , the brothers of the bride have to kill nasar as a ritual to avenge this act ,to save their family honor , everyone accepts it as a way of life , a custom to be executed and no one acts to stop a heinous crime the movie opens with the murder and then we are shown narratives and past and present conversations and interviews of various individuals who knew of it or even have witnessed it , there are no justifications given , no remorse felt , its an account of an execution , that has to happen in a matter of fact way, rather then as a probability. in fact the vicario brothers headed by volonte , celebrate the murder before they commit it and announce it publicly to redeem their honour -its cultural and religious overtones become a satire but a very subtle one as the writer is a genius and any excess is a violation and vulgarity .the script is complimented by perfect direction giving a haunting yet affectively memorable classic . this movie is is a harrowing account of human failure to prevent preconceived evil , so relevant and timeless in theme and concept to humanity for infinity, the cinematography is just spellbinding , the cast looks ravisihing [muti and delon were both sex icons in the 80s]and acts wonderfully , irene papas as the brides mother is superb she knows her daughter has lost her virginity, and can forsee the events but is helpless , delon in his role of the sacrificial lamb is magnificent as is muti[the rejected bride] , the murderous brothers play their negative parts with an indifference only the european cinema can achieve . the way they trap and kill the helpless victim is gruesome and hair raising , it is shown in graphic detail after bragging over a drunken bout . the location is cartagena in colombia and believe me its magnificent-a unesco world heritage site [ive been there] but it looks more captivating onscreen , a beautifully preserved sixteenth century walled city with gothic churches and red brick buildings with cloistered patios and exotic fountains galore. finally its a tribute is to the genius of marquez ,[ my favourite latin american author who wrote this short novel ,[quality not quantity] usually he is very prosaic and literary , with great details but here he is down to earth and absolutely matter of fact , as suits the theme ,he writes simply without embellishing the book with metaphors and the director does the same with the movie , the result is a truly haunting movie which is a must see though its subtitled ,every scene will linger in your memory forever, oh i forgot to mention redi was so apalled at everetts[english actor]spanish accent he had him dubbed. just a trivial detail... but this movie is a must see and endeavour to aquire it , as it is very hard to find