Sunday, 21 February 2016

Review - A Bigger Splash

Sometimes you walk into a film you know nothing about and walk out pleasantly surprised and very happy that you watched, A Bigger Splash is one of those films.
A Bigger Splash is an erotic thriller film directed by Italian film director, Luca Guadagnino. The film is a four hander, starring Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson. 

The film is set in Italy, with rockstar Marianne Lane (Swinton) and her boyfriend Paul (Schoenaerts) enjoying a holiday break while Marianne's voice heals from a recent surgery she has had, when it all gets interrupted when Harry Hawkes (Fiennes) Marianne's ex lover and producer and his newly discovered daughter, Penelope (Johnson), join them for summer.

This film had me engrossed for much of the 120 minute running time,  the story is so simple and it focuses mainly on the character dynamics and relationship which are fascinating, not knowing how any of them are at the start and learning new things throughout the film that enhance our knowledge of them, which is where the revelations come.
If you put any of these four characters with each-other you get a different type of conversation, when you pair Ralph Fiennes' character with Swinton's character you feel a blast from the past from their previous relationship and can still tell they love each other in a strange way and if you pair Johnson's character with Swinton's or Schoenaerts' character they treat her like a child while Fiennes treats her more like a lover than a daughter, the relationship's are fascinating.

Dakota Johnson in A Bigger Splash
The performances in the film are brilliant also, with Swinton and Fiennes truly standing out with polar opposite performances, Swinton's character just had throat surgery so she hardly speaks and has to perform with her body more than her voice and when she does speak its in a whisper which must really be hard to pull off but she does it effortlessly. Fiennes' character on the otherhand is completely over the top and energetic, he steals every scene that he is on screen with a character is jovial and happy on the outside but you can tell that he is truly broken inside which was a pleasure to watch.
Schoenaerts is an actor to watch, every film he makes seems to be good, and he is always good in the roles, he has a lot to do here and holds his own with such a lively character like Fiennes'. Dakota Johnson is great in the film, even in the awful 50 Shades of Grey she is the best thing about it and when she is presented with a good director and script she shines, her character is very interesting and you never know what she is thinking, she uses her sexuality to manipulate the other characters in the film even with her young age and her father being with her all the time, and its interesting to see how she's develops throughout the film.  

The direction in the film is incredible, Guadagnino is an eccentric director and uses very interesting shots and small littles things, like changing the colour grade when there is a POV shot through a character's sunglasses, small things like that really standout. The location in the film is breathtaking taking place on a small island called Pantellleria, the island is so beautiful and lovely that any establishing shots really stand out and the small spots they find in the film that are used as story points are wonderful. 
Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton in A Bigger Splash
The only negative i have in the film that unfortunately put the film down for me was the ending, where the story really kicks in, i feel like the ending changes genre and turns it into a completely other film, with unsatisfying ends for the characters, and with the main ending that i didn't really understand.

A Bigger Splash is a lovely film about 4 people and their relationships, the performances, direction and the location truly stand out in this slow sombre film till the unfortunate ending, but the journey makes up for the ending.

What did you think of A Bigger Splash?
Comment and let me know!

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