Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

I was very displeased to see that a bar in Agia Efimia has abandoned its perfectly good Greek name and renamed itself Captain Corelli’s, and I dread the idea that sooner or later there might be Captain Corelli Tours, or Pelagia Apartments. — Louise de Bernières

Love is what is left when the passion has gone. — Dr Iannis, father of Pelagia

I have always found something in life worth singing about and for that I cannot apologize. — Captain Corelli

I have not read the book, therefore I was able to approach the film without any preconceptions.

Dr Iannis, giving advice to his daughter Pelagia on love:

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No… don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!

A very moving film.

Would I feel the same had I read the book? I do not know. I did once try reading the book, and gave up as I found it to be badly written and boring. Maybe time to try again.

Filmed on the Greek island of Kefalonia. The events it alludes to did take place, the characters being fictional. Set during the Italian occupation of Kefalonia during the Second World War. For Mussolini, capturing the islands was important as once Venetian.

The view from the jetty at the beginning of the film is of Ithaca. The ships used by on that famed journey were made of Cephallonian pine.

Beautiful pines on the island. The same pines I found in the wooded parks in the centre of Athens near the Acropolis and on the hill I climbed Lycabettus Hill.

An island I would like to visit, though I fear spoilt now book and film.

Interesting that Louis de Bernières disowned the film.

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3 Responses to “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”

  1. keithpp Says:

  2. George B Says:

    I visited Agia Efimia in 2004, the bar/restaurant named Captain Corelli’s existed then. What was the previous Greek name?

  3. keithpp Says:

    Sadly I do not know as I have never visited the island, but the book was published before 2004.

    I tried reading the book again. My initial thoughts confirmed, very badly written.

    This must be one of those very rare examples where the film is vastly superior to the book. The director is to be complimented for distilling the essence of the book and bringing to life, without having to go through a turgid read. This becomes even more apparent if you watch the film with the director’s commentary.

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