A Bigger Splash18 May 2016
I made the mistake of seeing A Bigger Splash at a giant mega-multi-plex theater in Times Square. My first mistake was being in Times Square to start with, but as a means of respite, I thought I’d pop in during an afternoon walk to see this film. In this context, a film about hedonism, ignorance, passion and pleasure was just begging for my eye rolls. Seeing hordes of consumerist tourists, feeling alienated and disconnected from my own city, left me wanting for connection and genuine emotion. I couldn’t stand any of the characters, they’re all unlikable. The natural lighting felt indulgent, instead of artistic. The rustic Italian landscapes felt exploitative instead of celebratory.
I know other viewers took all these things as they were meant - dramatic satire, but I just couldn’t get there with this film. I had a similar experience last year with Angelina Jolie’s By The Sea. The friend with whom I saw the movie couldn’t stand the characters, found nothing redeemable about the film. I, maybe because I was in a different place, found some of the ideas about beauty, jealousy, and loneliness interesting. Sometimes you just catch the wrong movie and the wrong time in the wrong place.