Hot fun in the sun

The Tribune (NZ) - - MOVIES -

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.

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