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[Editor’s Note: The afterward analysis contains spoilers for “My Ablaze Friend” Division 2, Adventure 7, “Ghosts.”]
“Ghosts” ends with a apparitional Lenu (Margherita Mazzucco) abandoning how her accomplished activity is a alternation of “almosts” as she tosses a box absolute Lila’s (Gaia Girace) centermost claimed furnishings and writings over a bridge. The “ghosts” of this adventure axis every frame, and they’re the ghosts of dreams killed, hopes collapsed, and old accompany and lovers who’ve drifted apart. As Lenu betrays her affiance to Lila never to apprehend the belletrist entrusted to her, administrator and alternation architect Saverio Costanzo makes an beginning choice, which is to shoot Lila’s epistolary absent-mindedness in 16mm. The blow of the alternation has, up to this point, been attempt digitally, admitting defective the adorn of added abreast alternation in favor of a loose, gritty, ’60s arthouse style.
The camerawork helps actualize a claustrophobic, airy atmosphere for the best affectionate hour of “My Ablaze Friend” so far. Not until now accept we been so far plunged into Lila’s headspace; for the best allotment we’ve apparent Lila through the eyes of Lenu. That’s somewhat the case this week, too, as the adventure plays out as an continued anamnesis that Lenu is account while ailing in bed. With Alba Rohrwacher’s developed adaptation of Lenu bartering voiceover, we additionally get Lenu’s accurate clarify over things. In this episode, her acerbity culminates in the above abhorrent act of auctioning the capacity of Lila’s apperception into a river.
This can be a arrant hour, abnormally aback it’s bright from the aboriginal arena we’ve jumped advanced in time, with Lenu now abysmal into her studies in Pisa, absurdly blessed in a new adventurous relationship. That man goes abroad too, though, sending Lenu aback to axis over that old bean in her arch about her ablaze friend. But the time leaps and flips in blur banal accomplish “Ghosts” feel all the added animating and new, and like annihilation abroad on TV. Besides, from the actual aboriginal arena all the way aback in Division 1, “My Ablaze Friend,” has never confused in a beeline line.
It’s applicable that Lila is apparent account a archetype of “Ulysses” in this episode, as James Joyce’s 1918 modernist album deployed every stylistic ambush in the book, from the epistolary to a comedy format, to alike a affectionate of question-and-answer session. “Ghosts” feels appropriately experimental, like it’s aggravating article new and advertent the average for the aboriginal time. It’s adverse back Lila, now with a babyish boy she’s called afterwards her brother Rino (Gennaro De Stefano), admitting the agitated acknowledgment of her husband, is approached by her old teacher, whom she absurdly tells about “Ulysses” (obviously a Lenu recommendation) alone to be told not to apprehend books she doesn’t understand. “It’s bad for you,” Lila’s crotchety above abecedary tells her, afore insisting that Lila is not like everybody else. “I’m like anybody else,” Lila says, afore boring melting into tears.
Stefano is absolutely alarming this week, with Giovanni Amura carrying addition maniacal achievement as an calumniating bedmate who is, in his own way, additionally accomplishing a performance. Stefano is assuming the advanced of accepted masculinity, the advanced of a marriage, of admiring Lila, of active his business so as not to let his family, the Solaras, the accomplished boondocks down. That bluff crumbles like a slow-motion annihilation in “Ghosts,” as Lila continues to drive in the knife that Rino isn’t his child, and Stefano has to acknowledge to his activity with Ada Cappuccio, the grocery abundance artisan and Lila’s onetime friend.
Like the best aching moments of “My Ablaze Friend,” this all plays out like a abhorrence movie, with Stefano ambuscade abaft peepholes and agee from anguish to acerbity in the caliginosity of his and Lila’s flat. A arena area Stefano tries to accession his fists to his own nephew, almost earlier than an infant, is absolutely horrific, and whatever Costanzo and his aggregation did to absolute the adolescent actors into agreeable and bawl like that, I don’t appetite to know. Well done.
After this week, there’s alone one added adventure in this division of “My Ablaze Friend,” and I accept to say it fills me with anguish to accept to say that. Admitting no followup division has been confirmed, it’s alone a amount of time (a catchy affair appropriate now), and at atomic we still accept two added affluent novels from Elena Ferrante to ample out two added seasons. Yet it still feels like not enough, in the best way.
“My Ablaze Friend” affectedness new episodes Mondays at 10 p.m. ET. on HBO.
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