‘Devotion, a Story of Love and Desire’ follows Carlo and Margherita, two people who are madly in love. Something creeps into their relationship and causes them to question everything, including themselves.
The series starts with Trampoline by Shaed playing in the background as Margherita, who is a realtor, shows her clients a sprawling house, which she secretly wishes to have. Carlo surprises her during this house showing, pretending to be another client of hers.
Carlo is a novelist and English professor who is stuck in a rut. It’s been four years since his first book, which was triggered by meeting Margherita, came out and now he’s looking for something that would help him finish his second one.
He wants to buy a house and have children even if they can’t afford it right now. So, he tells Margherita that as soon as he finishes the novel they can get the house that they saw the other day. She decides to hold off the house from the market to buy them some time.
Carlo starts developing a bond with one of his students, Sofia while helping her write from her heart. Somehow, this new budding relationship that is borderline inappropriate is making him write his novel as well.
As Margherita’s new masseur, Andrea tries to work out knots in her body, there is a palpable sexual tension there. Will Carlo and Margherita give into their temptations and will they be able to deal with the consequences of their decisions?
Michele Riondino (Carlo) and Lucrezia Guidone (Margherita) put forth an earnest performance however their characters are written in such a way that they never get a chance to be completely vulnerable or gritty.
Carolina Sala (Sofia) and Leonardo Pazzagli (Andrea) have a major role to play as they incite feelings of distrust and desire in Carlo and Margherita. Sofia is given her own storyline and motivations which the actor portrays adequately but Andrea seems to be there only as a plot device.
The central theme of this series is quite unique as most stories of infidelity start with the couple being in an unhappy relationship. Here it is apparent that Carlo and Margherita are very much in love and lust for each other since the past 5 years.
“To whom do we owe our fidelity? To others or ourselves?” This quote pretty much sums up the crux of this story.
The cinematography beautifully showcases Milan but in intense moments the camera often pans out with an overlaying pop track that doesn’t quite match the mood of the scene. This disassociates the viewer from the characters and their emotions making them feel like an outsider.
Subplots seem too drawn out and obvious, making the series straggle its way to the ambiguous end.
Margherita compares their relationship to the “musicians on the titanic that keep playing while going down”. This statement stands true not only for their relationship but also for this show in its entirety.
‘Devotion, a Story of Love and Desire’ is simple, straightforward and predictable but is still good for a short light watch.