The Great Beauty Review by Tarek Fayoumi


It is very common for films to have flashbacks and haunting moments. “The Great Beauty” shows how rich Jep Gambardella (played by Tony Servillo) lives a wealthy life but recalls various moments in his life–nightclubs, parties, and friends leads him to a non-structured landscape of exquisite beauty. Is their any better way to realize what exactly is astonishing about this movie? I was astonished by the lighting and cinematography, but the film was going back and forth and I had a hard time following what the film is trying to tell its audience.


The main character is a rich man. He has experienced the high-life of Roam for a number of years. When it reaches his sixty-fifth birthday, however, he realizes something that is a shock from the past.

This movie features a puzzle of elements and facts are trying to sum up to a solution in the film, but it is not easy to follow. For me, it was like watching my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movie “Magnolia.” However, this one was more of one with a happy juxtaposition in the end and “Magnolia” was like a hit in the head with a baseball bat.

When I realized that “The Great Beauty” is a man looking back at his life from the past and present I was dazzled about that. Even though it took patience to understand, I realized in the end there is meaning to how Jep lives his life; we live good lives from time to time, and Jep realizes that having so much money is not important to him as much as it use to be. He tries to find the one person in his past that is beautiful and be with someone whether than just being rich and lonely.

The first cut of this movie was three hour and ten minutes long. I felt that with it already being two hours and twenty-six minutes was already long enough. Would the film being much longer would have made better entertainment? To be entertained it seriously takes this movie to be viewed like two or three times to understand what is brilliant about it.

For me this movie was one that I thought was just ok. I have seen many foreign films and have enjoyed them. Most of them were ones that had one focus. I was enthralled with “The Great Beauty”…by the lighting and cinematography, but the acting…very minimal.

Writer and director, Paolo Sorrentino does a good job directing this masterpiece (which is one to some viewers but not entirely to me). This movie is one that is geared towards people who enjoy these types of movies. I do enjoy them, but just I guess I need to watch it again to actually understand more of why it won Best Foreign Film in this years Oscars.

“The Great Beauty” is artsy and colorful. Also the concept seems amazing. But it is one to watch with an open-mind. You have to know it is going to involve patience and re-thinking to understand the point of view the film is getting to. So to be honest a solid two and a half stars.


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