Many movies use the technique of narration when they have an epic kind of story or when there is a complex plot. Many a times, poor narration alone can defigure a movie. There are some movies which handled an epic story without any narration and there are many which used narration in a beautiful way. Antonia or Antonia's Line is a beautiful movie in which the narration is wonderful. But it is not just about the narration. It is such a lovely movie.
After the war, a woman arrives back in her village with her young daughter. The village is quite a male dominated one, but Antonia sets on a life which will make her a strong matriarch and would see through four generations.
The above plot line is quite insufficient to describe this movie. It is simply the story of a strong woman who lead her life as she wanted, not being controlled by any one, but saw through her daughter, her grand daughter and her great grand daughter and made friends around with her kindness and courage.
At least for the first half of the movie, it is also about the village which have many strange and wonderful characters. In the second half the movie goes through the generation lines of Antonia, quite fast though. The first half is so beautiful, simple and lovely with some really nice fun in between, the second half is more about the life, raising so many questions about life, through the characters, but of course reaching the viewer.
It is definitely a female oriented movie, but it is not anti male, never. It just concentrates on women who find happiness without worriying about the societal and moral roles and rules. I found it really nice. It was so beautiful how the movie looked at love, love between people of different capabilities, ages and what not. One of the most amazing factors was how the actress who played Antonia aged in the movie. It was brilliant. The main character, and the villagers who are as old as her, how they aged together with the village, was really brilliant.
And a truly brilliant piece of Cinematography and music too.
A maochist man or even a conservative religious woman might not find Antonia very lovely, because of all what is happening in this movie or because of all the questions it raises. But for me, it was simply a wonderful movie. If not for its hurried pace in the second half it would have ended as a really brilliant master piece. Actually, if it had taken a more detailed look at all the generations, even if the movie got longer like it happened with Le Meglio Gioventu, it might have been even better. But may be for the director, Antonia was more interesting than her daughter or grand daughter.
A must watch movie, I would say. A movie on life, how everybody should live it, peacefully, following ones own heart and ignoring what the society would think.