The Consequences of Love
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
With his second full-length film, Paolo Sorrentino invents a glossy lounge-cinema. Each shot of The Consequences of Love smells like the pages of a fashion magazine or for upmarket hotel design furniture, each scene (or almost all) comprises a polished camera movement, so much so that one could talk about this as being the film with a thousand travelling shots. To package the entire film, a music worthy of the end of the night at the Buddha Bar finishes conquering the supposed spectator to appreciate this display of good taste.
Starring: Adriano Giannini, Olivia Magnani, Toni Servillo, Raffaele Pisu
Script: Paolo Sorrentino
Original Title: Le conseguenze dell'amore
Running Time: 1:40
Official Site: The Consequences of Love
Sorrentino demonstrates his unquestionable sense of framing, perspective and composition, and this, from the opening shot, where a man is seen pulling a suitcase, allows himself to be carried by a magic carpet. The diagonals flee towards the horizon to meet this quiet silhouette, both motionless and moving, while a soft voice crossed somewhere between a wise Björk and a hoarse Emiliana Torrini hums on an electro beat. These credits contain and summarize the entire film. You want aesthetics, here you go.
The problem is that while the technique of the work (a photograph, a musical piece, a film) does this deliberately, monopolizing the front of the scene, if in each shot one only notices the arrangements of the elements which constitute it along with the camera movements, the whole is finally reduced with a simple exercise of style which turns into an insipid demonstration.
The Consequences of Love tells the story of a mysterious and solitary resident of a hotel. Elegant but always distant, even unpleasant and misanthropist, this distinguished man seems to hide a secret. A shameful past that the script attempts to reveal through small clues. The portrait grows rich as the scenes go by until the end, inevitably disastrous.
This story about an accountant condemned by the Casa Nostra to remain locked up in a hotel, far from his family, and who waits for the occasion to bring a fantastic end to his sinister life (sic) could perhaps have been told differently. Hidden in close-ups of the bulbs of a hall, or on the gear box of the latest BMW, all interest is lost. The fate of this broken being sinks into the most total indifference. Sorrentino uses luxury packaging to move it along, which will only make amateur magazine cover designers dream with the choices: beautiful clothing, a beautiful Italian with a devastating look, a gleaming car, or quite simply publicity photography. Past the contents, one turns the shiny pages of the magazine, looking for text, an article, a story. In vain.
Translated into English by Anji Milanovic