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Captain Corelli's mandolin

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

The idyllic beauty of Greece's Mediterranean coast has been invaded by Italy, bringing legions of soldiers to the once tranquil island of Cephallonia.

Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage), an officer with an irrepressibly jovial personality and passion for the mandolin, initially alienates a number of the villagers, including Pelagia (Penélope Cruz). The daughter of the village doctor, pelagia is an educated and strong-willed woman, and while at first offended by the Italian soldier's behaviour, she slowly warms to his certain charms as they are forced to share her father's home.

When Pelagia's fiancé, Mandras (Christian Bale), a local fisherman, heads off to war, the friendship between Antonio and Pelagia grows even stronger. Her beauty and intelligence have captured his heart and his fondness for the village's vibrant community causes him to question his reasons for fighting. Antonio becomes a part of the lives of the villagers but the moment is fleeting. As the war grows ever closer, Antonio and Pelagia are forced to choose between their allegiance to their countries and the love they feel for one another - a love which must overcome tremendous odds and endure the inevitable sacrifice which accompanies eternal devotion.

Persons of interest

  • Nicolas Cage .... Captain Corelli
  • Penélope Cruz .... Pelagia
  • John Hurt .... Dr Iannis
  • Christian Bale .... Mandras
  • Irene Papas .... Drosoula
  • Gerasimos Skiadaressis .... Mr Stamatis
  • Aspasia Kralli .... Mrs Stamatis
  • Michael Yannatos .... Kokolios
  • Dimitris Kaberidis .... Father Aresenios
  • Pietro Sarubbi .... Velisarios
  • Viki Maragaki .... Eleni
  • Joanna-Daria Adraktas .... Young Lemoni
  • Ira Tavlaridis .... Older Lemoni
  • Katerina Didaskalu .... Lemoni's Mother
  • Emilios Chilakis .... Dimitris
  • Nikos Karathanos .... Spiros
  • Louis de Bernières .... Author: Corelli's mandolin
  • Shawn Slovo .... Screenwriter
  • John Madden .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Captain Corelli's mandarin? Given the international flavour of the cast (a Spanishwoman, a Welshman, two Englishmen and an American playing a Greek, another Greek, a Greek and a German and an Italian) and the broad range of accents (Spanish, faux Greek, Merchant Ivory Greek, Tirolian and very fake Italian - they make Heath Ledger sound almost credible!) You'd be forgiven for thinking that you'd fallen into a superhero fruit salad. But you'd be wrong. Instead you find yourself being wrapped up in the never-ending tale of wartime romance between invader and invaded.

NB: As Captain Corelli's mandolin is a Hollywood production it should be mentioned that only one such romance can prosper. Any other characters attempting to fall in love must fail and since it's war, one of them has to die. Such is the life of a merely featured actor.

But, what Captain Corelli's mandolin lacks in quality and sentiment it certainly makes up for in cinematography. It has an air reminiscent of that masterful romance comedy, For Roseanna: the sun shines with a clarity that can only happen on the Mediterranean, the village sits with the weight of ages past resting on its shoulders, the people live with the knowledge that they are only a small part of this island and that they will be only a small part of its history. When the war comes all that is turned upside down. The Italians are there for a holiday and the Nazis are there for the glory of the Aryan race. If those two world views aren't going to cause a war, nothing is.

Enjoy this film on the big screen so that you can get the most out of the stunning view, then rent it on video so you can follow the story.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Features:
    • Commentary by John Madden
    • Music video: Russell Watson, Ricardo Ancor
    • Production notes
    • Cast and filmmakers
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 1.33:1
  • Subtitles: English, English captions

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Occasional strong violence)

Surveillance time

129 minutes (2:09 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 23 August 2001
DVD rental: 13 February 2002
VHS rental: 13 February 2002
DVD retail: 12 June 2002
VHS retail: 12 June 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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