This week on Bluray from director Luca Guadagnino and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the relationships we can’t let go of with A BIGGER SPLASH.
Rock star Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) and partner Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) are vacationing in Italy. After hurting her throat, Marianne has been ordered to no talking for two weeks. That might come in handy when visitors arrive, especially this visitor.
Harry Hawkes (Ralph Fiennes) is a flamboyant, loud, talkative and needy human being. The history of Marianne and Harry go back to the beginnings of their careers and intimate relationship. In fact it was Harry that introduced Marianne and Paul and the three have managed to maintain a friendship.
Marianne and Paul get a surprise as well when Harry announces that the young woman he is traveling with is daughter Penny (Dakota Johnson). Not very friendly, Penny acknowledges the couple but that’s about all. It is decided that the father and daughter will stay with the couple.
Truthfully Paul isn’t happy about any of this but goes along to keep Marianne happy, and more importantly, quiet. Harry begins his partying immediately and picks up Sylvie (Lily McMenamy) and Mireille (Aurore Clement). The next day the women show up at the villa irritating the couple even more.
Marianne doesn’t understand the standoff-ish nature of Penny but keeps her silent distance. These close quarters are bringing up memories of past relationships between Marianne and Harry and at the same time Paul is uncomfortable around Penny. Late one afternoon everything is about to change and become more dangerous than any of them could imagine.
It is a moment that will change them all!
Swinton as Marianne still cares very deeply for Harry but at the same time he drives her absolutely nuts. The best part of this character is Swinton’s talent in being able to tell the story without bogging it down with words. Even in the flashbacks, her character doesn’t have a lot to say because Harry won’t shut up for a minute.
Fiennes as Harry is like watching someone who’s had caffeine mixed with a Red Bull mixed with any other stimulant that keeps his mouth moving at top speed. Not apologizing for showing up with a daughter no one knew about, or apologizing about crashing a car, or only caring about what he wants or anything else for that matter – Harry is openly self-centered. Fiennes gives his character huge flare and flashes of seconds of true emotion.
Schoenaerts as Paul is obviously in love with Marianne. With the arrival of Harry, he seems to not only be ever watchful and forgiving of his antics but unsure of his intentions. I have become a big fan of Schoenaerts since RUST AND BONE and FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. Many of his characters stand out without necessarily intending to and there is a mystery in that I enjoy.
Johnson as Penny is another relatively quiet character. Being a broody young girl who wants everyone to leave her alone works. She is curious about the dynamics of Marianne, Paul and her father and instead of asking, Penny keeps an eye on them all watching and waiting.
Other cast include: Elena Bucci as Clara, Salvatore Gabriele as the Mayor, and Corrado Guzzanti as Maresciallo.
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A BIGGER SPLASH is a film of jealousy, betrayal, secrets, lies, and a moment of insanity between adults who have unresolved issues. The setting of the villa, winding roads, and beaches of an Italy island are the backdrop to this intense story.
The cast bounce off one another which is amazing considering that it is the character of Harry who does most of the fast paced talking. Sometimes it’s what’s not said that means so much more. There are moments when Swinton’s character looks like she’s about to go over the edge with not being able to speak. These are characters that rely on non-verbal communication and it speaks volumes.
In the end – some relationships are better left alone!