In 1940 Greece, a betrothed local woman (Penelope Cruz) falls for a captain of the occupying Italian forces (Nicolas Cage). A love affair develops but the tale is confused by a returning Greek love interest, Italy\'s surrender to the Allies and a German ambush.

3.5
Viewed as an old-fashioned love story, this wartime adaptation is a roaring success.

On the idyllic Greek island of Cephallonia Pelagia, Penelope Cruz the daughter of the island`s doctor - John Hurt - becomes betrothed to a simple fisherman Mandras - Christian Bale. But the year is 1940 and war is overwhelming Europe. Mandras leaves to fight for the Greek army but returns a changed man, Soon the Germans and Italians arrive to occupy the island. Captain Corelli - Nicolas Cage - and his band of opera- and life-loving Italians spread their joie-de-vivre through the Greek community. Corelli is billeted with the doctor in exchange for important medical supplies. It`s a classic love-hate relationship between him and Pelagia to begin with, but then as we all know, it turns to love-love....I have to be honest here, I didn`t finish reading Captain Corelli`s Mandolin but I read enough to know there was a homosexual element in the book that has been completely omitted from the film, and from subsequent conversations I realise importantly omitted. The film version of Captain Corelli`s Mandolin is just an old-fashioned romance. I thought originally it was going to have grander aims, be more strikingly humanist, more epic, more something and then I realised that that was all there was a good old fashioned romance and I sat back and enjoyed it. For many people Nicolas Cage is no Captain Corelli but I had no pre-concieved notions and he was fine for me. In fact the love story works, Penelope Cruz is a gorgeous object of desire, John Toll`s cinematography divinely romantic. Director John Madden who I believe came on to this project at short notice serves the film adequately.Comments from David StrattonI haven`t read the novel, but the film gives the impression that it`s jetissoned some important characters and sub-plots - it comes across as a straight forward wartime romance which unfolds in a most beautiful setting. The script goes for easy sterotyping - the music-loving Italians, the brutal Germans, the life-lovng, philosophising Greeks. It`s easy to take, but nothing special.