Rating : ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Availability: Netflix, Italian with subtitles
Storyline: In this adaptation of Marco Missiroli’s 2019 novel, Fideltà, Italian directors Stefano Cipani and Luxrezia Guidone create an engrossing six-part relationship drama. It tells a relatively straightforward story of Margharita and Carlo, an Italian couple living in a small rented studio in Milan. She is a real estate agent, he is a professor at the local university. Their committed relationship is passionate and loving, and after five years of marriage their friends see them as a perfect couple. All good, until a seed of doubt becomes established when Carlo is seen comforting a student who is struggling in his creative writing class. As Margharita and Carlo then negotiate complex marital territory we see the ways in which love and desire impact inside and outside of the couple relationship.
Film-craft: Elisa Amoruso, Laura Colella and Alessandro Fabbri have written an absorbing script that moves the action along in suspenseful ways. They create an air of apprehension for the couple as Margharita and Carlo’s actions increasingly endanger their relationship. The soundtrack seems a little at odds with the drama, but the cinematography is classy with fabulous scenes of Milan.
Cast: The acting is outstanding in this series. Michele Riondino brings the right mix of bewilderment and charm to the role of Carlo. You may remember him playing the young Salvo Montalbano. Lucrezia Guidone is equally impressive as the passionate Margharita, who becomes obsessed by the twenty-year old student, Sofia, whom she perceives as a threat to the marriage. Carolina Sala is also excellent as the infatuated student, and Leonardo Pazzagli does a good job as Andrea, Margharita’s love interest, despite his character being the least developed.
Personal Comments: Fideltà comprises a multi-layered story exposing the complicated emotional dynamics within and across relationships. While there are one or two loose ends, what makes this series particularly fascinating is its exploration of dangerous moments when people in committed relationships waver on the edge of infidelity. There are many of these moments of decision when a character either resists temptation or steps over the line. The directors lead us to the very brink, cleverly building the signs of interest between characters – the looks that are a little too intense, or the touches that communicate something a little more than care. Then we wait until the moment has passed, and we are left to contemplate the complex nature of fidelity and betrayal.