Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Bigger Splash

Movie Name: A Bigger Splash
Year of Release: 2015
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson, Aurore Clement, Lily McMenamy, Corrado Guzzanti
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Since the beautiful and well received "I Am Love", director Luca Guadagnino has kept himself busy with shorts and documentaries, with "A Bigger Splash" being his first narrative feature since then. The film is based on Jacques Deray's "La Piscine", and follows the story of Marianne Lane, a world renowned singer, who following a throat surgery, is spending a vacation in Italy with her boyfriend recovering and generally resting. Their idyllic retreat is disturbed by the arrival of the charismatic Harry Hawkes, Marianne's former lover and producer, alongside his recently discovered daughter, Penelope. This brings a new dynamic to the group with dramatic consequences.
Following a beautiful and widely acclaimed film is always a tricky matter, but director Luca Guadagnino successfully overcomes the challenge, and presents a film that though unbalanced, is still beautifully crafted. The film showcases the relationships between these characters, slowly revealing the dynamics that existed in the past, alongside the possible resentments and passions. This allows for the characters to be more than simply archetypes, and demonstrates their inner passions and turmoil. The film falters a bit towards the end, with the introduction of some dramatic elements that don't resonate with the mood and style which was built previously, but for the most part, the central relationships are captivating and magnetic. Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes create fantastic characters and make the film both charismatic and entertaining. The cinematography from Yorick Le Saux is stunning. A flawed yet interesting film worth watching.