‘The Great Beauty’ by ‘Paolo Sorrentino’ is a wonderfully crafted film that is a joy to watch on almost every level. Now before I go any further with this review I want to point out that with the film taking place in Rome it does mean that it is all spoken in Italian, so if having to read subtitles throughout a film isn’t your thing then you probably know if this will be a film you’ll ever be interested in seeing. Anyway onto the review.
The Great Beauty has us following the eccentric exploits of Jep Gambardella who has spent most of his life indulging in the Italian night life, but after turning 65 he begins to look at what it is he is spending so much of his time doing and how doing this has caused him to pass by so many important people and moments in his life.
This premise isn’t the most complicated of ideas but the way in which it is handled is what makes it a stand out film. One of these ways is the sublime acting from almost all involved and particular credit must go towards the lead actor in the film ‘Toni Servillo’ who is faultless in the film. Servillo grabs a hold of a scene and stops you from ever wanting to take your eyes off of it; scenes where he is simply walking down the colourful street of Italy are as encapsulating as ones where he is delivering some of the expertly written dialogue.
This is another point of the film that must be touched upon, its dialogue. What I must imagine where some meaty and gratifying scripts too dive into (for the actors) means that each scene is a genuine joy to watch play out and the back and forth between each character is done so well and will it helps too continually drive the film forward.
One thing that does let the film down though is its running time, at 2hrs and 21 minutes the film begins to drag a little by the end and even with all the other brilliant points in the film it unfortunately cannot keep up what seemed to be a wonderfully compelling story. The last half hour of the film takes a strange turn and becomes almost a different film all together which is a shame. I feel that if the film had instead not had this last strange segment the film would have been flawless.
Not wanting to end on a low note I feel it is important to talk about the look of this film. Utilising the back drop of Rome the film is just stunning to look at, especially the party scenes of which there are a lot of, and also having the opportunity to explore the art and architecture that Rome is in not short supply of adds another level of beauty to this film.
To finish off I would definitely recommend this film. With its superb acting all round, a plot that is certainly not too cumbersome on the rest of the film and its many visual delights, this film left me entertained and enthralled and I am certainly happy that I got to see this beautiful film.