‘Youth’ explores the inevitable
Featured image couresty of the Savannah Film Festival website
Written by Shelby Loebker
“Youth,” written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, brings a beautiful and creative perspective to the grand tragedy of each of our lives: death. The film tells the story of an aging composer Fred and his life long friend Mick — a filmmaker — and the diverse cast of characters they meet through a summer holiday. The film, through creative writing and beautiful cinematography, addresses these men’s approach to the end of their lives and their views on what legacy they may leave behind.
Wrapped up in this story are explorations of intertwining minor ideas such as the divide between young and old, empathy and the discovery and loss of love. Fred (Michael Caine) and Mick (Harvey Keitel) learn about these subjects themselves, the people they meet and each other at a Swiss spa retreat.
Both the aging protagonists and the younger minor characters are faced with the decision to find a place in the world or actively forge their own legacy. Each character took a different approach to this task, in a way that left the viewer both connected to the characters that reflected their own mindset, and inspired by those who voiced something new.
The film’s cinematography is highly effective, and helps bring cohesion to what occasionally seem to be random scenes. There were great, sweeping shots of the beautiful Swiss landscape, close portraits of the actors’ faces and creative angles that moved with the central action of the scene that all help to clinch the intangible emotions explored in the movie. The musical score also added greatly to this cohesion and pacing of the film, helping to guide the viewer through the experience.
Though “Youth” addresses significant drama and heavy ideas, the film is still clever and down-to-earth. The primary characters are real and indirectly characterized by brilliant and thorough performances throughout the film. Their witty dialogue and unique bonds to each other truly won over the audience.
“Youth” is creative and unique, but still manages to resonate with its audience. It make its viewers think and feel in tandem, creating a narrative experience you will not soon forget.