Besieged - C+
Viewed May 22, 1999 at Angelika

Besieged reminds me of those Lladro figurines my mother is fond of collecting : superficially pretty but hollow inside. An elliptical romance between a pianist in Rome (David Thewlis) and his African housekeeper (Thandie Newton) serves as a springboard for Bertolucci to indulge in screwball editing : slo-mo, freeze frames, and jump cuts abound, with little regard if they make visual, narrative, or emotional sense. I also wonder if Bertolucci realizes that his pianist comes across as a tad creepy[1]; the kind of obsessive love that he displays throughout isn't too far from stalking. Besieged isn't a terrible movie; I just don't find it a particularly interesting one.

[1]Casting David Thewlis, who has a face and voice born to play serial killers, doesn't help matters.