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Naples in Veils (Napoli Velata)

Movie review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Naples in Veils (Napoli Velata) Movie Poster Image
Explicit sexual Italian drama about overcoming trauma.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 113 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There are no real positive messages in this movie.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adriana eventually gains the strength to overcome her inner demons.

Violence

Close-ups of bodies on an autopsy table, including one with blood and wounds from being violently murdered. Character pushes, aggressively holds partner. Someone is shot dead.

Sex

Explicit sex scenes showing everything but genitals. Masturbation. Full-frontal nudity.

Language

Occasional strong words.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Naples in Veils (Napoli Velata) is an Italian-language drama (with English subtitles) with explicit sex scenes and full-frontal nudity. In one scene, a topless character masturbates. The main character performs autopsies, and the camera lingers on some of the bodies, including one who was brutally murdered. A character is shot dead. A character is pushed and grabbed aggressively. There's also occasional strong language and some drinking. The movie has a noir-mystery element to it, which works at a superficial level. But without some knowledge of the lore and history of the city of Naples, a lot of cultural references will be missed.

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What's the story?

In NAPLES IN VEILS, Adriana (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) meets an attractive young man, Andrea (Alessandro Borghi), at a party, and they spend a passionate night together. When he doesn't show up the next day for a planned date, Adriana is disappointed. Soon after, she recognizes the body on whom she's set to perform an autopsy as that of her new lover. Adriana becomes wrapped up in the investigation of Andrea's murder, forcing her to confront uncomfortable truths about her city and her past.

Is it any good?

Beautiful scenery, art, and architecture abound in this mysterious -- if unbelievable -- look into the life of a woman struggling with a traumatic past. Naples and its traditions are at the forefront of this convoluted story. The city is portrayed through a lavish and sensual arts culture, while the eccentric characters point to a deep-rooted belief in superstitions and the supernatural. Those who are familiar with these cultural elements will relate to Naples in Veils at a deeper level. But knowledge of Naples isn't a requirement. Rather, to understand Naples in Veils, viewers must accept far-fetched plot turns. And though Naples is a central element to the story, the connection between the city and Adriana ends up feeling forced.

The plot becomes more and more complicated as it goes along, and only some aspects are tied up by the time the movie is over. Some viewers may be intrigued and swept away by the mystery, but others will feel like it's trying too hard. Overall, Naples in Veils seems a little too mysterious and obscure for its own good.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sex scenes in Naples in Veils. What do the scenes add to the movie? Do they help viewers understand the story better? Why, or why not?

  • Why does Adriana stay with Luca, even as he becomes more aggressive? What power does he have over her? And what allows Adriana to finally break free from her past?

  • What role does setting play? How is Naples an important "character" in this movie?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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