{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Thursday, March 14, 2013


When you talk about attraction, you may be talking of boredom in a way. When you talk about relationships, you are in a way talking about segregation, Likewise when you talk about losing the meaning, you may be talking of the gaining something else, if not the meaning. The question about 'What brings people closer' usually moves to 'What keeps them together', when you think about someone else, you usually end up thinking about you. Some of the movies deal all this and return to the basics, images that impact you permanently. L'avventura is a movie of that power.
L'avventura is a montage of images where the images and the backdrops represents minds of characters. The characters are not very strong when the movie starts, they discover themselves as the movie moves. It is first movie that I saw which used images with such lingering power, here you need to see the whole frame to understand what's happening, L'avventura demands lots of attention, which it deserves fully. The pace of the movie is slow and its not particularly interesting that will keep you struck to the screens and it takes long time to identify with the movie but L'avventura doesn't aspire to be like that. There are long scenes with supporting cast that apparently doesn't add much to the narrative but all this is not irrelevant to the movie as a whole.

L'avventura is a story of Claudia whose friend Anna go missing on a boat trip and Anna's fiancé, Sandro becomes attracted to Claudia. This may be the dumbest way to put the plot but the best way will be to see the movie. Movie starts with all the attention on Anna, who is not sure about anything. In a beautiful crafted scene when Anna and Claudia go to pick up Sandro for the boat trip, Anna first even refuses to go up and see Sandro but end up having sex with him with Claudia waiting for her down. Characters here are self obsessed upper class. On the boat other insecurities of Anna are revealed. Meanwhile we are introduced to lots of characters on boat, that represents some stereotypes of marriage, man and woman. Anna was very unsure about her marriage, and discuss it with Sandro just before disappearing which sparks off a search of Anna, which later becomes the search of other characters mainly Claudia.

There are lot of scenes that are like paintings, the one that comes to my mind is the reverberating scene where Claudia and Sandro ring church bells, its perhaps the most happy scene of movie. Lot of other times too, characters were happy but they are pretending it or the happiness was too short-lived to qualify. The other one was the train scene where Claudia and Sandro lying in the meadows and a train passes by. All these images are all the more interesting to watch because they represent the state of mind of the characters.

L'avventura sometimes take the shape of a mystery which is not the mystery of finding Anna, but Claudia finding herself. In one of the last scenes she reveals her changed state of mind very clearly by saying that she dread finding Anna now. This possibly reflect more when put in perspective to the scene where Claudia stopped Sandro advances in the name of faithfulness of friendship and lamented that people change so fast and people forget so easily. L'avventura's take on morality is quiet illusive.

The Last Scene of L'avventura is almost magical, you may or may not like the movie but you're going to appreciate that scene where Claudia stands putting her hands on the head of Sandro, sitting and weeping like a child, with a dormant volcano in background.

L'avventura is not going to interest you if you want any instant entertainment and instant understanding of the movie. It will take time for the movie to dissolve and I may not guarantee that too. A picture may be worth a thousand words but which words or interpretation you take make or mar the picture especially when image are meant to be speaking emotional traumas of characters. L'avventura is so rare an experience because it give numerous such images and innumerous such possibilities.

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