- 1 hr 45 min
Teorema (Theorem) is a 1968 Italian art-house film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film is a complex and thought-provoking examination of power, sexuality, and class struggle in modern society. The movie follows a wealthy Milanese family whose members each have their own unique experiences with a mysterious and enigmatic visitor.
The film begins with the arrival of a handsome and charismatic young man, played by Terence Stamp, at the home of the wealthy industrialist Paolo, played by Massimo Girotti. The young man immediately captivates the entire family with his magnetic charm and ethereal quality. He works his way into the family's daily routines and ingratiates himself with each member of the household.
First, he seduces the mother of the household, played by Silvana Mangano, causing her to become openly lascivious and perverse. He then has sex with each of the other members of the familyâPaolo's wife, his daughter, and his son. The result is a profound psychological effect on each character, altering their behavior, identities, and social status.
While the stranger's effect on each family member is different, his visit causes a significant disruption to the patriarchal order of the household. The young man seems to be the embodiment of an ancestral, almost divine, force that awakens long-repressed desires deep within each character's psyche.
Throughout the film, Pasolini explores the relationships between the members of the family, who each possess starkly opposing views on life, politics, and religion. He shows how the introduction of a charismatic and sexually active figure can cause an entire family structure to crumble and be rebuilt from the ground up.
The film also touches on themes of Marxism, existentialism, and humanism, as well as the influence of religion and the church in modern-day Italy. Pasolini masterfully weaves together these complex and often abstract ideas into a cohesive narrative, aided by the beautiful cinematography of the great Tonino Delli Colli.
The performances are uniformly excellent, with Terence Stamp's enigmatic and charismatic presence as the stranger at the center of everything. Silvana Mangano's performance as the mother is particularly noteworthy for its depth and nuance.
Teorema is an ambitious and thought-provoking film that explores philosophical and spiritual ideas in a deeply personal and emotional way. The film's complex themes and abstract nature make it a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, viewing experience. Pasolini's unique vision and careful attention to detail create a film that remains relevant and affecting even today.