- 1 hr 55 min
Set against a backdrop of stunning Mediterranean vistas, the 1962 movie Phaedra is a gripping tale of tragic love and obsession. Directed by Jules Dassin, the film stars the renowned Greek actress Melina Mercouri as the titular character and features strong performances by Anthony Perkins and Raf Vallone. Phaedra is a wealthy and beautiful woman who lives with her husband, the shipbuilder Thanos (Vallone) on a Greek island. She is deeply unhappy in her marriage, seeking emotional and physical fulfillment that her husband is unable to provide. Enter Alexis (Perkins), Thanos' son from a previous marriage, whom Phaedra encounters one day while visiting a friend in London. The two share an immediate chemistry and begin an illicit affair that quickly spirals out of control. The story unfolds with a series of gripping revelations, as Phaedra and Alexis struggle with their forbidden desires and the consequences of their actions. Mercouri delivers a compelling performance as a woman tormented by her passions, torn between loyalty to her husband and her overwhelming attraction to his son. Her intense and complex portrayal of Phaedra invites the audience into her character's inner world, conveying both her sensuality and her despair. Perkins also shines as Alexis, playing up the character's youthful naivety and vulnerability to great effect. Though his attraction to Phaedra is evident from their first meeting, Alexis is conflicted by his loyalty to his father and his guilt over the affair. Perkins brings a nuanced approach to his performance, capturing the character's inner turmoil with skill and sensitivity. Vallone's portrayal of Thanos is equally impressive, presenting a man who is blind to his wife's unhappiness and unaware of the depth of his son's feelings for Phaedra. As the story progresses, Thanos becomes increasingly suspicious of the pair's relationship, eventually confronting them in a tense and dramatic scene. The film is beautifully shot, with breathtaking scenery and gorgeous cinematography that captures the essence of the Greek islands. Dassin makes excellent use of the locations, weaving the natural beauty of the landscape into the fabric of the story. The sound design is also noteworthy, with a haunting score that adds another layer of emotion to the drama. Overall, Phaedra is a compelling and powerful film that explores themes of desire, passion, and betrayal. It showcases the talents of its actors and director, delivering an unforgettable cinematic experience that stays with the viewer long after the credits have rolled. If you're a fan of classic films or drama, this is one movie that should not be missed.