The Consequences of Love

Before lockdown – before social distancing – there was Titta Di Girolamo: the sanguine Italian businessman who spends eight years in perfect solitude in the same Swiss hotel.

Each day he dresses impeccably, sits in the same chair to do his chess puzzles, and greets every attempt at sociability with withering silence.

Paolo Sorrentino’s The Consequences of Love is an exquisite portrait of solitude.

With unabashedly stylish filmmaking, it discerns the many shades of sadness, determination and desire that lie beneath the placid surface of Titta’s lined face.

But for all its engrossing quietism, this a thriller. Gradually, the reasons for Titta’s self-isolation are revealed – and they turn out to be more Cosa Nostra than Corona.

Titta is a fly caught in the Mafia’s web: as the film goes on, the opaque structures that entrap him become increasingly visible.

His icy inertia is revealed to be less a curious affectation than the product of a viciously restrictive set of circumstances.

 

The tranquility of Titta’s Swiss hotel – all gleaming surfaces and crisp mountain air – emerges as a counterpoint to the unseen world that supports it: gritty, messy, industrially potent.

In the film’s unforgettable closing scenes, Titta is returned to this unglamorous backstage world with disarming literality.

The Consequences of Love uncannily evokes the heavy weights of time and solitude – and with an inscrutable mix of wit and severity, how both can be ruptured.

Maybe the film itself offers the best advice:

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