Written by Eleanor.
Marianne (Tilda Swinton) is a famous rock star, who had an operation on her vocal strings and she has to temporally avoid speaking. Spending the summer with her quite younger boyfriend, Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts), Marianne takes some time off and enjoys her vacation on an Italian island, Pantelleria. The unexpected arrival of Marianne’s ex-lover, Harry (Ralph Fiennes), and his free-spirited young daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson), will lead to a series of problematic actions.
Marianne and Paul share an intensive sexual life but their true feelings for each other are pretty vague. Harry seems to be attracted to Marianne and he shows an excess affection for his daughter. Paul and Penelope on the other hand, share some sensual looks and things get a complex trajectory. What will happen when they decipher each others’ feelings and suspect their actions? The pool becomes the reference point of sexuality and the witness of a crime,which will be the climax and the turning point in their lives.
These four people are involved in a whirlpool of emotions: sexual desires, jealousy, passion and uncontrolled instincts. Suntanned and shapely bodies, which carry an inner flame of intense feelings and desires and four pairs of beautiful expressive eyes that expose lustful desires and jealousy. Mysterious characters, which avoid meaningful interactions, perplex the viewer’s understanding of the movie. The lack of verbal expression of feelings diminishes the viewer’s emotional engagement with the movie and the characters, which can cause a steady alienation. However, the mysterious and dubious characters and their intentions keep the viewer agile and drag him/her within the complexity of emotions, in which the characters are involved. By exploring and decoding behaviors and looks, the viewer becomes an essential part of the overall understanding of the film.