“And here ends the story of the two of us/Two people who get lost/The highway is there/But it will give us/A melancholy autumn”. The last verses of the song One summer ago (this version performed by Francesca Michielin with Altar Boy was truly successful) are a poignant, fitting and emotional farewell to this surprising season finale, broadcast exclusively on Sky and streaming only on Now, also available on demand. The music is over. The friends leave. The Enemies too. The curtain falls at the San Paolo stadium in Naples. The night of 3 July 1990 will not be magical for the Azzurri, Mameli’s anthem shouted at the top of his lungs is transfigured into the deafening silence of disappointment. Maradona’s Argentina wins the semi-final on penalties. This is also why Elio tries to rewrite history and save Arianna from her fate of death. Similar to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the protagonist of the famous symphonic poem, the future lawyer finds himself governing ungovernable forces. Because our memory is always selective, not objective. Just like love. And to quote Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism: “The future influences the present as much as the past”.
What will remain of these 90s
If the woman of Gori’s dreams is Monica Vitti, on the other hand, the object of Inspector Zancan’s desire is a Commodore 64. Filippo Branca’s room is a tear in time, a frozen space in which the nineties remain they never went. Between tape players and cathode ray tube television, Arianna’s ex-boyfriend remained in the summer of 30 years ago. His anger, his madness, make him the ideal culprit, but the character masterfully played by Paolo Pierobon doesn’t like to win easily. He is like Omar Sivori, he predicts what will happen. And for Elio a wedding ring worn around the neck can transform into a slip knot like those used for hangings. After all, Zancan is Elio’s nemesis, a solitary and rough policeman, who only misses the taste of cigarettes in the Nineties, an inspector who was married to a woman obsessed with Nek, Ramazzotti and Paola and Chiara, while Zancan was feverish for the Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Rage Against Machine. Life is really strange sometimes.
The final monologue by Lino Guanciale
“What do I remember about that summer? I remember that we never slept and that the music was beautiful and that we always had all the time. I remember that we were happy, and I remember that the world scared us. Because nothing was really in our our hands. I remember that our every thought aimed at infinity, but that every fall killed us. I remember that we were sure we could have everything, without knowing that even the greatest dream can die in an instant like our youth. Or maybe we were right then, when we thought that wanting it was enough to be able to change things. We live lives as if they were binary, but all it takes is for a penalty to go differently to change everything, the past, the present, the future. Life, after all, is a question of centimeters. The future: what could have been, what would have been right, what will never be.”
Penalties and regrets
The series ends with this touching monologue, recited by Lino Guanciale looking straight at the spectators One summer ago. The beginning is the end. The end is the beginning. We know: men make plans and the gods laugh. It was an accident that killed Arianna. Sometimes magnificent obsessions cause terrifying consequences. Elio involuntarily pushed the girl. But from Costanza (played as an adult by an excellent Claudia Pandolfi) to Adriano, everyone protected their shy and fragile friend. And in a festive multiverse, Aldo Serena scores the last penalty and Italy goes to the World Cup final. Except that remorse resurfaces like a Panda car that has been at the bottom for 30 years. Maybe a trip to Peru with his wife Isolde and daughter Alice will ease the pain. However, Seneca was right: “The main and most serious punishment for those who have committed a crime is to feel guilty”.
The smile of the Mona Lisa
Arianna’s smile on which the eighth and final episode of One summer ago it is as mysterious as that of the Mona Lisa and ultimately this season finale disturbs and intrigues like the Mona Lisa. The transgenerational thriller produced by Sky Studios and Fabula Pictures transfigured a cold case into a hypnotic journey to discover a season suspended between hell and paradise, between love and death, passion and obsession. Thanks to the costumes, the scenography, the photography, the Nineties are not a mere frame, a Bric-à-brac conceived to capture the fever for vintage that rages in several series scattered across the globe. Form, in this case, is content. To the tune of a brilliant and delightful soundtrack that is not limited to just offering us the hits of the time, we become passionate about the sentimental education and not only of a very varied group of teenagers. And when the season of love dances with that of regret, the emotion does not diminish. In short, as Battiato sang: “Desires almost never grow old with age”. Like quality TV series.