El Alamein - The Line of Fire (2002) starring Paolo Briguglia, Pierfrancesco Favino

On the Italian Front

"El Alamein - The Line of Fire" is the story of WWII told through the eyes of Private Sera (Paolo Briguglia) a university volunteer who arrives in Egypt on the back of a friend's motorbike to join Pavia Division. He experiences all aspects of war be it the boredom of waiting around to the loss when his colleagues are killed as well as the beauty such as flares in the nigh sky. But with the British attacking times are a chancing for Sera and his Italian friends.

I've lost count of the war movies I have seen which are told from the point of view of a solider on the front line and now I can add "El Alamein - The Line of Fire" to that list as we follow Sera the university volunteer into battle. But the difference here is of course Sera is an Italian and it is his perspective on war as an enemy of the British. Now that could have provided plenty of opportunity to step well outside the box but what we get is little more than war is hell from an Italian soldier's point of view.

In that sense "El Alamein - The Line of Fire" disappoints as all we get is a war movie rather than an Italian perspective on war. But what we do get is art and this is where I am conflicted because whilst I can appreciate a beautiful looking piece of cinematography when you couple it with dialogue which sounds too scripted to sound beautiful it makes it too manufactured, too determined to be beautiful rather than allowing the beauty to come naturally.

What this all boils down to is that I expected more from "El Alamein - The Line of Fire", I expected a more original movie rather than just a war movie told from the perspective of a young Italian soldier who often talks in a romanticized way about life and war. What it means if that sadly "El Alamein - The Line of Fire" ends up a beautiful but average war movie which misses the opportunity to be different.