But what of Madonna? Well, where to begin? I have a lot of sympathy for her as an Actress. Her daring, knows-no-bounds attitude works well with music, but when attempting to re-create a role that a) has been done so well before, b) has always been trashy, c) is completely unsympathetic, and d) is actually incredibly complex, was inevitably going to bring her a lot of stick. I'm sure the fact that she's Italian-born, and was a teenager at the time of the original release, had a lot to do with Ritchie making the film in the first place, and in theory, the rich diva role could be something she's well-suited to. But after seeing the original a lot of the performance feels more like whining mimicry than inherent power struggle. Her Amber seems more of a pouting fake, a calculating shallow shrew, than someone capable of being psychologically turned inside-out. If Madonna's Swept Away had kept to its original ending then this could perhaps be more of an understandable acting move, but as it turns out, it makes their love story a perplexing and altogether less genuine commodity.
Round Three: Giancarlo Giannini Vs. Adriano Giannini
A similar story to comparing the men, really. 2002's version sees two beautiful people (perhaps too beautiful?) writhing around in sexual fulfillment, but lacks the bite of the original. What made the sex in Wertmüller's original so erotically charged was that it was both angry and lusty, whereas Madonna and Adriano's encounters, while arousing, are all a bit (for lack of a better word) pretty. What I will say for the remake is that its sex scenes are incredibly well-shot (adhering to the fervent romanticism of Ritchie to which I earlier referred) which when considering the original is high praise indeed.
Result: 1974 Sex
Round Five: 1974 Politics Vs. 2002 Politics
Result: 1974 Ending
1974 Version - A