A Bigger Splash
Luca Guadagnino takes his second international movie to the wild landscapes and narrow streets of Pantelleria, a little Sicilian island close to the African shore.
Boasting a fully international cast for the first time, A Bigger Splash is rawer than any of the director’s previous works, just like the island it’s set on. And it carries an uncontainable energy – or, more precisely, Ralph Fiennes does.
The relaxing holiday of music star Marianne (Tilda Swinton) and her partner Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) is interrupted by the unexpected and unsettling arrival of Marianne’s ex-partner and former producer Harry (Ralph Fiennes), who shows up in the company of his Lolita-like daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson).
Harry’s visit isn’t casual; he’s trying to win back his ex, who is going through a difficult phase due to the complete loss of her voice. He plans to exploit the moment as Paul is recovering from a suicide attempt.
The acting is phenomenal: Tilda Swinton, who also participated in the creative process by asking to introduce the lack-of-voice element to the script, is superb in her mute performance; and Ralph Fiennes’ interpretation – especially his Rolling Stones dance and anecdote – is beyond imagination.
A Bigger Splash is technically brilliant: the camera dances around the characters and plays through the use of fast-speed zooms and masterful closeups. The first half-hour of editing – the credit belongs to Walter Fasano – is out of this world, equalling the beauty of Sally Menkes’ work on Pulp Fiction. Le Saux’s cinematography is so truthful that it evokes the profundity of life. You can imagine the smell of the plants, the heat of the sun, the sand in your hair and the end of the summer in the air. And the scenes shot through the reflection in sunglasses add flair to the film.
Four adults trapped on an island, struggling to communicate with each other and dealing with man’s most irrepressible impulse: desire. It’s rock ‘n’ roll Antonioni.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
A Bigger Splash is released nationwide on 12th February 2016.
Watch the trailer for A Bigger Splash here: