Wednesday, July 6, 2011

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: Rocco And His Brothers

This week on Hit me with your best shot, we watched a great Italian film called “Rocco and his brothers”. As the title suggests, the film focuses on the Pardoni brothers (Rocco, Simone, Vincenzo, Ciro and Luca) and how their lives are affected by the beautiful prostitute Nadia. To me, Nadia was the most fascinating character. She was also greatly impacted by her relationships with the brothers. I wish she had even more screen time. Hence, my favourite shot highlights her character.

When we first meet Nadia, we are instantly hinted at her man-eating ways. She teases Vincenzo with a kiss, barely a minute into their first conversation. She starts off as a confident seductress, but as she gets involved with the brothers she becomes increasingly vulnerable and fragile, leading to her ultimate demise. As was the case with the similar character of Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire) earlier in this series, this tough outer shell eventually breaks down.

Click below for my favourite shot...

My favourite shot comes from the scene where Rocco and Nadia meet for coffee. As I interpreted it, Nadia is caught off-guard by the lack of attention given by Rocco, which gives us the first sign of her vulnerable side. She asks him “What do you think of me?” and he merely responds with “How old are you?” At this point we can see a small tear from the corner of her eye. It seems like her breaking point, as things really go downhill for her. She confesses later in the conversation...

“Look what effect you have on me”

That line sums up the film's plot nicely I think. The whole web of relationships affects everyone, even the mother and the youngest brother Luca. Of all the brothers, Rocco indeed has the greatest effect on Nadia, as he is the only one she truly loves. Interesting to note that Nadia (Annie Girardot) actually chose Simone (Renato Salvatori) in real life, as they were married in 1962 (2 years after the release of the film).


  1. Jesus-- did you see Simone in the shower scene? No wonder she chose him!

  2. Totally agree with Troy but anyway...I always am surprised by how beautiful Annie Girardot was. The first time I saw her was in "La Pianiste" and she wasn't only old but her character was also awful internally. Then I saw this a few years ago and was beyond surprised to see her beauty, she's like Anouk Aimee and Isabelle Huppert rolled into one.

  3. hey, thanks for these trivia notes. I totally didn't know that they married.

    and I was shocked watching the movie remembering her from THE PIANO TEACHER.

    really glad we did this one and thank you kindly for being such a devoted contributor to this series.