I don’t like shooting the Red Cross, and The Orianathe RaiUno fiction on the figure of Oriana Fallacihas already been targeted by a lot of criticism.
But I really can’t shut up in the face of yet another havoc of Italian television series, this time aggravated by the simplification of such an important character in the history of the Italian twentieth century.
From an artistic point of view, nothing new under the sun. Even the most successful fictions from us are embarrassing products, often filmed as best they could, light years away from the stylistic and narrative perfection of American products. But this is nothing new, and The Oriana it fits into a long list of botched fiction. Not bad, we’re used to it by now.
The main problem of The Orianahowever, it is narrative. The human and professional story of one of the most complex characters of twentieth-century Italy has been summarized in a cream puff narratively incoherent, with unjustified time jumps and with an approximation in the story that cries out for revenge. And then, even more serious, the interpretation of Victoria Puccini it looked more like some sort of forced parody rather than an in-depth character study. You are also sorry to rage against the Florentine actress, but one cannot act for more than three hours as if she were declaiming her Divine Comedy in the most classic and bombastic of ways. Zero naturalness, zero depth. Just a long stylistic exercise, which turned out very badly.
And then there is also the characteristics attributed by Puccini and the director to the character Fallaci to be analysed. The great Tuscan journalist had an angular character, it is true, but The Oriana he hatched a hysterical characterperpetually angry at everything and everyone, constantly over the top and with a nastiness that doesn’t do justice to the complexity of a multifaceted woman.
Guest on the stage of the Ariston of San Remo just a few days ago, Vittoria Puccini “performed” in the imitation of Fallaci’s voice. Well, already from that short essay of embarrassing parody we should have understood that the actress had focused too much on the vocal resemblance (forced, scholastic, mannered), leaving out the deeper analysis of her character. The Fallaci narrated by fiction has no depth, emotionality, psychological development. She is a character in two dimensions, not three. Flat, banal, emptied of any inner plot. An example above all: the very few and superficial minutes dedicated to the latest Fallaci, that of the discussed (and questionable) anti-Islamic turn post 9/11.
If she had still been alive, certainly Oriana Fallaci would have prevented this massacre, not before having verbally massacred whoever was responsible for it. Because anything goes, please, but there is a limit that cannot be crossed: that of respect for the character who is being told and for his complexity. The homage, in the case of The Orianahas become embarrassing parody.
To really get to know the woman, the journalist, the ferocious polemicist, the best way remains reading his books and reports. You can’t harness Fallaci in a TV drama character. An attempt that failed miserably, an affront that Oriana didn’t deserve. And neither is the viewer.