‘My Brilliant Friend’ lives up to its name

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(CNN)“My Brilliant Friend” measures up to its adjective, producing such an abundant, remarkably rendered plunge into mid-20th-century Naples that it’s hard not to get completely drawn into the hardscrabble, small-village lives. Shot in Italian, after viewing 6 of the 8 episodes, there’s very little to state however “fantastico.”

Like the book, the story starts by flashing back, as Elena, now in her 60s, is notified that her one-time bosom buddy Lila has actually vanished. Sounding more resigned than shocked, she rapidly starts recollecting about their training, when the 2 were the most intelligent ladies in their class, throughout a time of post-war turmoil and hardship when ladies weren’t motivated to look for or study to raise their station beyond that of their moms and dads.
Fearless, defiant and more than a little strange, Lila (Ludovica Nasti) displays an effective hold over Elena (Elisa Del Genio), motivated a mix of affection and envy. They live in a town where there’s little apparent authority and the working individuals battle to manage, while residing in worry of characters like the loan-shark Don Achille, who Elena’s narrative refers to as “the troll of fairy tales.”

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