Hot fun in the sun
A Bigger Splash (R16) Directed by Luca Guadagnino 2hrs 4min, ★★★★★ Reviewed by Peter Lampp
This erotic drama with a smouldering cast should nicely spice up the cinema for a few weeks.
Loosely based on 1969 French movie, La Piscine ( The Swimming Pool), Splash is set on the sundrenched Italian island of Pantelleria, where it’s tepid enough for the four main characters to wander about in the nuddy during much of the two hours.
Marianne (Tilda Swinton) plays a rock star convalescing from a sore throat with her hunk Paul (Matthias Schoenearts). Love, well sex, simmers in the air throughout, befitting an Italian-French production.
Indeed the opening scene sees the couple at each other in the swimming pool before we had time to draw breath. Phew.
Swinton, also starring at the moment as two gossip columnists in the movie Hail Caesar, also helped produce this movie. Dressed in revealing, classical Dior garments, she cleverly converses using only lips and facial expressions because her infection has left her without a voice.
Making up for her muteness is the tsunamic arrival of Harry (Ralph Fiennes), her former production manager and old flame. Harry never shuts up. He is so hyper that he ruins the solitude for Marianne and Paul, and is continually stripping off, his external wares on full display.
With him comes his beautiful daughter, and there are no shades of grey about Penelope played by starlet Dakota Johnson. Italian director, Luca Guadagnino, has no qualms about blatantly strobing the camera on the women’s legs and the men’s derrieres.
The lust and Mediterranean scenery aside, there is subtle tension between the two groups and a late alarming twist which lifts the drama above the ordinary.
Apart from the smoking skin performances by Swinton and Fiennes – who are way out of their usual zones, a further selling point is the soundtrack.
Not to be missed.
Ralph Fiennes as Harry, brings plenty of energy to sexy-in-the-Med-sun movie, A Bigger Splash.