1/2 StarSwept Away begins with the quite elegance of a Steven Soderbergh picture as if Guy Ritchie wanted to throw his hand in the neo-new wave movement that was popularized at the beginning of last decade. Yet, the slavish devotion to his own frenzied style proves too much of an enticement for the Brit director most famous for his use of split narrative in caper-comedies. So then what is he doing remaking a little seen Italian film from 1974? Swept Away is a remake starring the son of the actor who originated the role and co-starring Madonna, the wife of this film’s director. How’s that for confusing?
On a sailing trip from Greece to Italy a rich heiress and an Italian fisherman are separated from the vessel and drift ashore, stranded together on a deserted island. Madonna is intermediately very effective and laughable as the spoiled, arrogant, and wealthy capitalist. Giannini is a deckhand on the yacht she has chartered. Once the pair become shipwrecked on an island, the tables are turned as he dominates her in this sloppy retread that lacks the gripping message about class and the sexes that was such a central theme to the original’s success.
This quirky film looks beautiful with picturesque locations and the stars toned torsos. Yet, after the brutally honest look at isolation presented in Cast Away, it is impossible to believe that this marooned couple have such easy access to materials, shelter and fire. These lapse in logic or any semblance of realism is what ultimately drowns this misguided effort. Those that stick with the film for the conclusion will be treated to the most bewildering ending in memory. People cry, lovers long and we still don’t care.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Madonna, Adriano Giannini, Bruce Greenwood