Watching La grande bellezza , a film about aging, acceptance and the search for beauty, was a great experience in perspective and introspection as experienced by the viewer and by the film’s characters. The plot seemingly concentrates around Gep Garbardella, a writer. As the narrative unfolds, various subjectivities also unravel like his editor’s, his playwright friend and that of the women he seduces.
It’s a story of his life in search of beauty as a young man in love and as an older socialite in contemporary Rome. Sex, parties and death happen to people around him; he questions why and does not get any answers. Short of a reply, the film explores life with the beautiful backdrop of his life in the eternal city: in his beautifully decorated bedroom/library, on cobbled streets, decadent interiors of aristocratic residences and his beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking the city.
This beautiful film by Paolo Sorrentino is not typically Hollywood with predictable subplots of love and crime. Much like the questions brought up by everyday living, answers are hard to find but this is the point of the film. The search for beauty instigates exploration and development of ideas. It’s an introspective experience elegantly projected on the screen. One could be so lucky to see poetry as it unfolds.