I absolutely love La Piscine - it's Hitchcock tension and beautifully tropical cinematography make it the perfectly steamy murder story. But that's the focus - the murder. In a Bigger splash, we have the same characters (Marianne, Harry, Penelope, and not Jean Paul - just Paul), but a different focus. Guadagninio just draws out the foreplay a bit more.....
|A past love reawakened.|
Then Marianne get's a phone-call. As if a hurricane is tearing it's way towards Pantelleria, or the David Hockney painting of the title, and it's own disruption amongst perfect blue- ex-husband/boyfriend Harry, and his daughter Penelope are winging their way over to the island right this minute. Oh shit. Marianne seems a little anxious, but Paul clearly can't be bothered dealing with the two extra guests.
|Beautiful key of colour.|
Paul clearly senses this, and is a little hostile towards Harry. The key with a Bigger Splash is to look closer - unlike the swimming pool that it is based on, there is no surface tension to be had. All the action occurs just underneath the lives of our characters - and Guadagninio's cinematography makes us voyeurs into the sexual lives of the protagonists.
|New love found.|
The plot is happy to bubble away with this same Hitchcockian sensuality and growing tension until it reaches boiling point. Oh, and it does reach boiling point. What started as an inevitable playfulness has grown into something a lot more; particularly with the suggestion that Penelope has lost her virginity to Paul, and all protagonists just kinda go crazy. As you can imagine, somebody gets killed.
Guadagninio has created a film of two halves, for sure. The first, romantic, portion is different to the second - which is sort of a dramatic-irony crime thriller. Instead of romance, we get fear and hate between Penelope and the married couple. But what stretches will the foreign police go to solve the crime?
|The perfect setting...|
A Bigger Splash is a sun-soaked hotbox of a romantic thriller. One that will entertain, perhaps surprise and shock as well; and one that you should definitely catch sometime.
|A Bigger Splash gets 4 stars!|