Directed by Jean-Luc Servino | Reviewed by Adrija Bandyopadhyay
Jean-Luc Servino’s “Letter from Professor V” is an Italian film that beautifully portrays the story of Marco, Vittoria and their professor, curiously named V. Professor V is played by Carlo Verre, Marco is played by Luigi Milosa and Vittoria is played by Tilde Girardi. The characters are delightfully painted by all three actors.
Vittoria shared an outgoing relationship with the professor, and is his favourite student. She and her boyfriend Marco get invited to a dinner held by Professor V and they spend the night indulging in a fun discourse about revolutionary poems.
The dinner is quite an eye opener for Marco. He feels uneasy watching how close her girlfriend and Professor V are. His strong, jealous gaze doesn’t stop the professor and Vittoria from dancing together. When Vittoria takes a brief leave to use the washroom, an awkward silence grows between the professor and Marco. They both want to initiate a conversation but fail to do so.
After the dinner, Vittoria demeaned Marco as he was glaringly uncomfortable throughout. Vittoria’s true character unveiled as she insulted Marco and blamed him for damaging her “image” before Professor V.
The subtle room decoration of Professor V’s room gives out a solitary vibe of a lonely professor. The costume of Vittoria upholds the personality of a strong independent woman in university. The prominent and relatable characterizations are the highlight of the film.
The twist in the storyline transpires when it is revealed that Marco’s awkwardness towards Professor V was not from losing Vittoria to him; it was because Marco himself had developed feelings for the professor. The uneasiness reflecting in Marco throughout the dinner was directly consequential in preventing Vittoria from meddling with his true love— Professor V.
Marco paid a visit to the professor’s apartment without informing the professor nor Vittoria. He made the first move and expressed his love. They both became fond of each other and secretly dated. Meanwhile, Vittoria had no clue about the ongoing relationship between her boyfriend and her professor. She remained the favourite student as Marco became the professor’s lover.
Professor V and Marco splendidly hid their relationship from all until a day came when everything changed. The covert relationship which was never meant to be in the first place, had run its due course and with nature’s evil twists and machinations – it was time to face reality. The professor and Marco were facing the inevitable as the only constant promise in life is “change”- however painful it may be.
It is a black and white film with a run time of 8 minutes and 17 seconds. The curious twist is quite unique and raises the film’s storyline quite unexpectedly from a run of the mill love triangle to an interesting tale of finding an identity and traversing through societal expectations. Jean-Luc Servino does a splendid job of handling the complex story with grace and finesse.
Jean-Luc Servino is an Italian director, screenwriter and editor. He shot his first film when he was 15 and since then there has been no turning back from his passion for making films. “Letter from Professor V” is quite a clear example of his years of experience and the set-up of each scene to the clothes and props- everything is well planned. Different layers of the story are successfully balanced within the short time of 8 minutes and 17 seconds with every scene flowing seamlessly into the next. It is quite a charming experience with an unexpected ending.
The film is a good watch.