Seeking an empty beauty in Italy…
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, who also directed Il Divo and The Consequences of Love the movie tells the tale of a 65 years old writer + journalist + socialite who begins to look at life differently after he received bad news from his past and present.
The English translation of La grande bellezza is the “The Great Beauty” and it is a fitting description. The beauty comes from the picturesque shot featured from the beginning till the end. The captivating angles of Rome is enthralling. Cinematographer Luca Bigazzi was able to captured the rich and dirty parts of the city by showing it through his state-of-art lenses. Whether it’s the Coliseum or the long winding road in the city, the setting is without a doubt one of the highlights in the movie.
Main character Jep Gambardella is played by Toni Servillo is cleverly written. He is a writer with only one hit wonder and spend the rest of his life working for a high-end magazine interviewing eccentric individuals. He is self-absorbed and a know-it-all man; yet he is good at convincing others with his suave communication skill. Although Jep has several epiphanies through out the movie, the director doesn’t abruptly create him doing drastic things.
The colorful supporting characters in the movie are also quite hilarious. They are satirical of Italian high society in my opinion. My favourites are the 104 years old saint nun who eats only roots for her meal (like seriously) and the self-absorbed pastor who only talks about his avant-garde recipes instead of answering spiritual questions.
However, I found my self perplexed once the credit rolls. It’s not that I don’t like the film, I enjoyed it, but it’s a very different film and I am not fully satisfied with the jarring conclusion. I won’t go as far and say this is the best movie of 2013 but it’s an interesting movie to watch nonetheless.