Plot: What’s it about?
While I heard many good things about it, I had little idea just what to expect with A Bigger Splash. The film certainly has an appealing cast, but it was never on my radar. While I can say it may not be something I need to immediately see again, it certainly leaves an impression. Tilda Swinton plays Marianne Lane. She’s a famous rock star who’s recovering from throat surgery. This leaves her unable to speak temporarily, outside of quiet whispers. She lives with her boyfriend, Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) on a remote island. All seems well for them until an expected visitor shows up. Harry (Ralph Fiennes) is an old friend, and he arrives with his supposed daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson). I say supposed since the film hints at different things. Those are better left to the viewer to discover.
The four actors are largely front and center here as the film focuses mainly on them. You can expect a lot of nudity here, both male and female as the characters lounge around in the nude quite often. This includes much nudity from Dakota Johnson. There’s a plot twist late in the game, but mostly the film just peaks in on these character’s lives. I admit that it can be a bit slow at times. Some viewers might not even make it to the end, but it can be a rewarding experience. I was reminded a bit of Sexy Beast, at least early on. The uninvited guest element, and not knowing what will become of it. Performances are all top notch. I think that is a big part of why the film works. Since this is largely a character-driven affair, it wouldn’t work if the casting was off. This is one of the more interesting performances from Ralph Fiennes as well. The film is also very nice to look at. The cinematography can be very relaxing. In a way it serves as a compliment to the deliberate pacing of the film. This might not be a film for everyone, but if you happen to stumble upon it, you might find enjoyment.
Video: How’s it look?
I mentioned the cinematography of the film, and the transfer highlights it perfectly. The island setting lends itself nicely to the HD format. There’s just a clean look to the entire transfer. Colors and details are strong consistently with no issues to speak of. The print used is pristine as well. The image is AVC encoded with a 1.85:1 ratio.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is worthy, but since this is mainly a dialogue film, don’t expect a huge impact. It does make good use of the environment as the rear channels kick in when needed. There are subtleties to be sure, but they’re welcome. Vocals remained crisp as well. This track is a good compliment to the film.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Promotional Featurettes – I can’t really even put a description on these as some are so short, it’d take me longer to write it than to watch it. Seriously, the longest of these runs just a tad over two minutes. So, uh…enjoy?
- The Silent One
- The Extroverted One
- The Young One
- The Mysterious One
- Story and Cast
- Beneath the Surface
- The Inspiration
- Another World
- Stills Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
Certainly unique, Splash is by no means essential viewing, but those willing to give it a shot might not regret that decision. It helps to be fans of the cast since this is largely their show. Not much happens in the plot until a late twist, but the cast help make it somewhat worthwhile. Rent it.