Youth (Film analysis)
Youth (Film Analysis)
Paolo Sorrentino’s 2015 film “Youth” that is authoritatively chosen at the Cannes Film Festival was set in a Swiss sanatorium. The film opens with an exemplary Sorrentino dish and a camera circumnavigating like a spinning entryway. Music has been a strong element of Paolo Sorrentino’s films. The film’s plot occurs in nowadays. The main character of the film, who creates the pallet of the film, is Fred Ballinger (Michael Kane). He is the retired orchestra conductor who usually does the checkups in sanatorium Switzerland. His daughter Lena is his assistant, and she is with Fred in the sanatorium as well. There is an aging film director Mick, who is brainstorming a new film with his production team to star his diva, friend played by Jane Fonda. In the sanatorium, there’s an obese athlete who needs help to move from one place to another. There’s an intelligent actor who plays the role of Mister Q.
The movie is represented by people of the same social class since all the characters have been successful, but the same problem has united them. No matter how we spend our lives when we get old, we face the fear that the past seems very far away. Some people get used to the idea that they are old, and some still expect something good from life. In the film, its representatives are Fred and Mick, who have been friends for around sixty years. They take long walks every day and reminding each other of their past life. Fred reminded Mick about the girl they both used to be in love with, but Mick says that he doesn’t remember her. They make a talk on Mick’s son and Fred’s daughter who got married to one another. They torture themselves by complaining about their prostate worries, perving over the current Miss Universe, who has won the stay at this sanatorium. Fred is requested to performance his “Simple Chanson” (that is considered as the masterpiece) to the concert for Queen Elizabeth, but he yields up because of “personal reasons” as he suggests. On the same note, the film represents lost love, Fred’s daughter got divorced with Mick’s son because he cheated on her. In her monolog, she tells her father that she never felt that paternal warmth from him because of his obsession with music. She tells her father that he does not understand her current situation but only her mother. Unfortunately, her mother is hospitalized and can no longer talk.
Lena (Fred’s daughter) is in search for love but then she realizes that nothing feels as good as to feel free. Michael Kane’s character Fred is no longer comfortable with his current life. When we look at this character, we see what he experienced in his life. It is noted that he is done with something, and now since he is old, he seems to be reluctant about life. His “personal reasons” is his past that will never come back as he explains that his wife was the only person who sang his songs and now she can no longer talk and nobody can change her position to sing the songs that she sang. Fred is as well used to the idea that he is old, and one big stage of life is done and now he is on his last stage. According to this, he is retired and also quoted that “at my age getting in shape is a waste of time”. But Mick Fred’s friend is completely different. He is old and still believes that he can succeed in his new movie. He is very motivated in writing the script for his team. When his diva friend arrived at the sanatorium to personally meet him, she told him that his movies are no longer good, and he needs to get used to the idea that he is old and can’t make the movies he did before. Therefore, she says that she will not be a star in his movie.
Mick has high expectations in life, but life is not as we imagine but much cruel than we think. Fellini’s impact is felt when Mick envisions all his female characters spread out over an untainted Swiss field. Hence, he ends up committing suicide. He didn’t get used to the idea that the past is more far away, and future is not that close. One scene in the movie is Mick with his young team in the Mountain area. In the scene, he asked one of his team members to look through the binocular. He asked her what she had seen, and she replied that she saw the huge mountain close to her. Mick told her that being young makes everything close. Then he moved the binocular to the other side and everything was far away. Mick said that that was the past.
The movie expresses that people handle their old ages differently. Some get used to it while others fail to get used in handling their old ages.
When Mick died, Fred talked to their doctor and asked if Mick said anything about that girl (they were both in love when they were young). Doctor answered that Mick was taking a walk with her, and it felt like riding a bicycle. Mick told Fred that best feeling that he ever felt was learning how to ride a bicycle. This small element of the movie shows that we never reveal our true feelings in this life to other people. We hide them deep inside of us.
In the film, there’s a moment men and women are naked in the sauna. There is a cloud of smoke and the red light. Therefore, this might also symbolize our feelings. Nakedness might represent the idea that as human beings we are all unprotected. My vision according to this particular scene is that old represents past, and smoke is dull, that being said past is surrounded with dull smoke. Therefore, it’s vanishing. In the case of Fred and Mick, they both cope with their old ages differently. From Fred’s point of view, life is just what it is. You are young, and then you get old. For him life is like a “Simple Chanson”, but for Mick, there is a more thing to come in life. Therefore, he does not get used to the idea that nothing lasts forever. The title of his upcoming film “Last day of life” might also represent himself.
Jimmy Tree known as Mister Q has a charming personality. A look in his eyes is like him watching all these people and analyzing their lives. Sanatorium could be viewed as a sort of way station for these individuals who are all working through a crisis.
Sorrentino works the heart and nervous system; the way that the right visuals are matched with the right bit of music can say more than dialog ever could. Therefore, this film is emotional and lifts the spectator upwards.
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