Indivisible has a tragicomic parable-like plot that, while rather bare, predictable and sometimes tedious, also has great thematic depth. The almost supernatural levels of religious fervor directed at the twins make this year’s (superior) Mustang a reference point, and there are also shades of Agnieszka Smoczynska’s bizarre The Lure. Indivisible is much more grounded yet shares The Lure’s quasi-musical generic stylings, theme of siblinghood, and documentation of various forms of exploitation. Director Edoardo De Angelis finds articulate images for conveying the true cost of the father’s exploitative behaviour.
Director of photography Ferran Paredes provides Indivisible’s finest artistry. There’s an excess of languorous establishing footage of seedy environments, yet brilliant roving cinematography adds interest to even the duller narrative points. The style, akin to fly-on-the-wall or reconstruction documentary shooting, implies an exposé of minor celebrity, and amplifies the sense that we are witnessing private moments. The audience alone are privileged and entrusted with insight into time the twins spend alone, developing an understanding and sympathy their family often lack.
Sharply distinct characterisation of Viola and Dasy is simplistic yet convenient, driving home Indivisible’s argument that the two women should be treated as independent individuals. Another message concerns the necessity of granting adult children – whether conjoined or not – freedom and independence.
As their ambivalent mother, Antonia Truppo brings a precision to even her tiniest movements, speaking volumes with and without dialogue. In contrast, De Angelis does allow Indivisible to lapse into shrill histrionics during several less expertly controlled scenes.
Indivisible aptly provides images for many of the sentiments expressed by the narrator, also a conjoined twin, of Sarah Crossan’s Carnegie Medal-winning novel, One. Though the film is psychologically and emotionally convincing, the pacing is sluggish and the hopeful conclusion doesn’t ring true.
CAST: Angela Fontana, Marianna Fontana, Massimiliano Rossi, Peppe Servillo, Antonio Pennarella, Toni Laudadio
DIRECTOR: Edoardo De Angelis
WRITERS: Edoardo De Angelis, Barbara Petronio (screenplay) & Nicola Guaglianone (story & screenplay)
SYNOPSIS: Dasy and Viola are conjoined twin sisters on the verge of turning 18. They are blessed with beautiful voices and are sought after to sing at weddings, communions and baptisms. But what if they could be separated?