Friday 10 July 2009

L’Avventura (The Adventure) [1960]

Watching a universally renowned movie like L’Avventura –Italian maestro Michelangelo Antonioni’s groundbreaking masterpiece – can sometimes be a discomfiting experience. The reason is simple, you watch with huge expectations and the viewing experience might sometimes just fail to scale the stratospheric heights you’d hoped it would; something of that sort happened with this movie for me, leaving me a tad underwhelmed. While a group of blasé, affluent jet-setters is vacationing in a yacht, the neurotic fiancé of a successful but jaded architect (Gabriele Ferzetti) goes missing, and during the process of searching for her, he ends up developing a relationship with a beautiful but emotionally fragile lady (Monica Vitti) who also happened to be his fiancé’s best friend. A complex examination of human behaviour and a sharp critique of the shallow decadence of wealthy socialites, it isn’t really difficult to understand what made this the archetypal cerebral ‘Art Movie’ – especially given the deeply ambiguous ending. However, on the flip side, the lumbering narrative, numerous moments of seeming inaction, and the long running time, were factors that slightly alienated the movie from me from an emotional standpoint, if not from an intellectual one. Further, the acting, though good, in my humble opinion, wasn’t especially great either. Perhaps I shouldn’t be expecting a crackling movie like Breathless, 8 ½ or Shoot the Piano Player every time I watch a European movie from that golden era, irrespective of how acclaimed it is.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Avant-Garde
Language: Italian
Country: Italy

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