I was reluctant to see this movie because on paper it looks like an arthouse chore. Luckily it isn't at all.
We follow the cynic and self-proclaimed "it-man" of the high-class nightlife in Rome; Jep, through his episodic encounters in the city. Because of the death of his one true love (who married someone else) he starts to reflect on his life and what the Great Beauty in it is (or was).
The movie showcases beautiful cinematography, editing and score and has a diverse set of actors. There is also plenty of often subtle humor to be found in the scenes and dialogue making it everything but dry.
“Finisce sempre così. Con la morte. Prima, però, c’è stata la vita, nascosta sotto il bla bla bla bla bla. È tutto sedimentato sotto il chiacchiericcio e il rumore. Il silenzio e il sentimento. L’emozione e la paura. Gli sparuti incostanti sprazzi di bellezza. E poi lo squallore disgraziato e l’uomo miserabile. Tutto sepolto dalla coperta dell’imbarazzo dello stare al mondo. Bla bla bla bla. Altrove, c’è l’altrove. Io non mi occupo dell’altrove. Dunque, che questo romanzo abbia inizio. In fondo, è solo un trucco. Sì, è solo un trucco".
The film does not fully coincide with my sensitivity, but I respect. Captivated me several individual images and words.
I thought the opening and ending sequence were both exceptional. I thought that the cinematography was possibly the best I've seen from that year. The soundtrack was better than good.
However, the movie didn't really flow together very well. Individual scenes worked well on their own, and could work well within different films, but they did not flow together. I found myself uninterested and uninvested in the story and characters. I tried to love it. I really wanted to, but I found the whole story to be kind of pointless. It was incredibly repetitive (Multiple long and drawn out club scenes, general lack of progression in the story, etc) and I don't feel as though the 2.5 hour length was justified. I was looking for ways to be sucked into the film. There were individual scenes that were able to suck me in, but I didn't feel invested or attached to the movie as a whole. It was very well made in terms of filmmaking, but cinematography only goes so far with me. I consider cinematography to be like icing on a cake. With this film, I found myself with a plate full of icing. I know there's cake buried in there somewhere, but something tells me that there isn't all that much.
Quando mi chiedono cosa penso di questo film, non so mai decidermi a cosa rispondere e poi mi distraggo, ripensandoci. La Grande Bellezza ha momenti altissimi e bassissimi ma nonostante tutto, mi è rimasto appiccicato in testa.
Jep: Abbandonando, per un istante, l’extrasensoriale, che cosa intende lei per vibrazioni?
Talia: Come si fa a spiegare con la volgarità della parola, la poesia della vibrazione?
Jep: E non lo so, ci provi.
Talia: Io sono un’artista, non ho bisogno di spiegare un cazzo.
Jep: Bene, allora scrivo “vive di vibrazioni ma non sa che cosa sono”.
Talia: Comincia a non piacermi quest’intervista. Percepisco da parte sua una conflittualità.
Jep: La conflittualità come vibrazione?
Talia: La conflittualità come rottura di coglioni.