Film reviews by Daniel Davis are an internship project in partnership with Lyndon State College. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer and not of Catamount Arts.
Marco Bellocchio’s Dormant Beauty is a well-made movie. The film has good acting, good cinematography, decent dialogue, some interesting directing choices, strong themes, and all around is a very well done movie. Despite this though, the film suffers from a somewhat confusing story structure.
There is a specific story in Dormant Beauty, but it is also about episodes that tackle such subjects as life, love and hope. Such stories are treated in an adult manner. Dormant Beauty is set in Italy, and is based on the true story of Eluana Englaro, a woman who, because of a car accident, is in a coma state. Her parents consider euthanasia, but isn’t legal to do in Italy in her specific situation, and the church and politics get involved.
Dormant Beauty is also about two other stories relating to acquaintances of Englaro. These stories don’t feel that connected to each other, which makes the film seem like it’s more of an anthology series in some ways, but the similarity in subject material is still evident. One of the stories is about a young woman trying to kill herself with heroin. I liked how they approached the topic of heroin and suicide and the acting was also very good. The other story is about a member of the political government of Berlusconi who refuses to join the party and wants to pursue a bill that will make euthanasia completely illegal in Italy. What I liked about the political story of the film was the way it was shot. After the death of a woman in the politician’s story which he is sad about it, in the background, a political gathering is shown appearing from the politician’s mind, but almost like it’s happening right next to him, but it’s not. That scene is incredibly powerful and powerfully acted.
The film’s score, small as it is, is quite good. Having a classical feel but also a modern mix as well.
Dormant Beauty is a film with good intentions, but suffers from somewhat of an incoherent story, and a lack of a real style. It has its moments, and the setting looks great however.