A Bigger Splash DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist

The Premise
In A BIGGER SPLASH, the lives of a high profile couple, a famous rock star and a filmmaker, (Swinton and Schoenaerts) vacationing and recovering on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria are disrupted by the unexpected visit of an old friend and his daughter (Fiennes and Johnson) - creating a whirlwind of jealousy, passion and, ultimately, danger for everyone involved.

The Review
This is going to be a polarizing film to many audiences. There is a lot to love but also as much to despise. From the love side of things here’s what stands out.

The physical performance by Fiennes is brilliant. He is alluring to watch and you can’t help but laugh at his over the top rockn’roll characteristics and yet he draws you into the despise his self-indulgent attitude to life and all of the people around him. There are some brilliant scenes involving classic Rolling Stones records and incredible dancing that certainly entertain.  However, when you have a character like this that you kind of start to feel frustrated by and in turn start to dislike, it is then that you need to have it balanced out by a different character that you connect with. I didn’t feel that there were any characters in this film that covered that base.

It is a beautifully filmed movie that is set in a dazzling location that really does make you want desperately to visit and have your own holiday in this spectacular village. I think that is one of the areas that frustrated me most about this film.  It has most of the components that a great film needs,  awesome cast,  interesting dialogue and a wonderfully captured location and yet it misses on the one main thing…  it couldn’t get me to care about it at all.


The Verdict
A film that promises much,  delivers quite a bit but in individual parts and certainly not as a whole.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 27th July 2016
Rating: R16 – Contains sex scenes, violence, drug use, offensive language and nudity
Duration: 124 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson
Director: Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love)

The Extras
Ralph Fiennes told that he accepted the role of Harry Hawkes when he received the screenplay and it was written that in a few minutes down the film, his character would express himself through dancing, he had never been asked to do that before so he said "yes, thank you."

Margot Robbie was originally cast as Penelope but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and Dakota Johnson replaced her.

Tilda Swinton's wardrobe was created for her by Dior's Raf Simons.

Initially, Tilda Swinton didn't want to do this movie. Not this one nor others, due to the recent death of her mother, she ended up changing her mind and proposed the idea of this woman unable to speak into the established story of ancient histories and new lives thrown into relief by one another. Not only as a twist to ramp up the tensions between the characters, but also as a way of exploring the possibilities of silence in a portrait of a character surrounded by the noise of others and the legacy of the noise she had herself made in the past.

The Vuarnet 006 sunglasses that Matthias Schoenaerts wears in the film, is a reissue of the one that was worn by Alain Delon in La Piscine (1969).


This is the second of three movies in which Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes appeared together. The others are The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Hail, Caesar! (2016).