When Guy Ritchie and Madonna remade Lina Wertmuller’s 1974 film, at least they weren’t savaging a much-loved classic. Opening on picture-postcard scenes of sun, sea and sexuality and set to ’70s soft-porn muzak, it unravels as a tale of primal male-female urges filtered through hysterical dialogue and pat politics about Italian class divisions.
Posh blonde Raffaella (Mariangela Melato) thinks the soulful southern cook on her yacht, Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini), is coarse; he thinks she’s an “industrial bitch”. Then a dodgy dinghy leaves them stranded on an island together, where he takes class revenge and she becomes his gasping sex slave. (“Wash my underwear!” he barks. “Sodomise me!” she begs.) Fittingly rampant lead performances aside, it’s not a persuasively presented palaver, either as allegory or character drama.