Mikhalkov's adaptation of several of Chekhov's short stories makes for bland viewing indeed. Mastroianni is in fine form as the fickle, philandering and finally irritatingly spineless Romano, a wealthy Italian whose dismay at the imminent bankruptcy of his wife's bank takes him away from family and mistress to the distracting lassitudes of a health spa, where he encounters and seduces the shy, reluctant Anna (Sofonova). When Anna returns to Russia and husband, Romano follows, but will he do the honourable thing and tell his wife (Mangano) the truth? Mikhalkov manages, remarkably, to render the harrowing dilemmas thrown up by problems of adultery, commitment, disillusionment and solitude woefully shallow. Mastroianni apart, the film is a glossy, unprepossessing example of the mainstream art movie.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Alexander Adabashian, Nikita Mikhalkov|