Dhyana Kearly's Captain Corelli's Mandolin review

Grade: C In times of war teenage pranksters turn into noble guardians and wanna-have-fun guys become somber heros as young women abandon their dreams to champion for the welfare of others.
   In Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a love story is woven into the terrors of war complete with all of the trappings of what you might expect to find in a movie from the 40's.
   During WWII in an pact with Nazi Germany, the Italians are mobilized to take on the dubious goals of their allies.
   Nicolas Cage stars as Capt. Antonio Corelli, an Italian officer who, along with his comrades, is assigned to take possession of the tranquil Greek island of Cephalonia. Here he meets Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), the daughter of the local doctor (John Hurt).
   Pelagia is promised to marry a young man from her village who is off fighting to protect their country. Soon however, the undeniable tugs of romance are felt between Pelagia and the Italian officer, and they inevitably fall in love.
   Wartime is not the best time for young lovers, much less anyone else, and in Captain Corelli's Mandolin we are introduced to a mix of delicate relationships of which only the most ardent will survive.
   This film starts off by developing a romance and turns into a cover-your-eyes all-out war. In combination with the half-hour of previews, this two and a half hour flick may be way too long for most folks to endure.
   The directors seems to be borrowing on a film genre of the 40's with long slow paced scenes and plenty of music. Although it worked in an earlier era, it doesn't necessarily work now. Gorgeous Greek isle scenes punctuated by Penelope Cruz wandering up or down cliff side pathways carrying baskets full of leafy material simply isn't enough to carry the story.
   Although most everyone puts in a believable performance, John Hurt as the father/doctor is undoubtedly the most outstanding feature of the film.
   There are more than a few well spoken sentiments, and choice scenes between characters, but if you're not up to sitting through moments of violent warfare you might want to hold off seeing this film.
   At least if you wait to rent the video you can fast-forward through the never ending previews. **** Capt. Corelli's Mandolin is rated R for violence, sexuality and language.