The boys stand on the boardwalk overlooking sea, that like many things took me back to the Malecon, waiting with bated breath. The receipt of their pants is the sultry Malèna (Monica Bellucci), walking from home into town. Of the boys, Renato's (Giuseppe Sulfaro) heart beats faster, and in his mind with more purity for her. When the World War claims her husband, she finds herself at the mercy of the town for the sin of being born beautiful. As the malicious rumors fly about her, only Reanto recogonizes the pain and pathos in her eyes. Ms. Bellucci is silent for most parts but there is a searing undertone of suffering reflected in her eyes that speaks volumes. To put it simply, it is a film about innocence and its end.
Rating: * * +