For Reel

Il Sorpasso (1962)
September 6, 2015, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Dino Risi
3.5 Stars
Il SorpassoBecause Il Sorpasso concerns the dynamic between an impulsive braggart and a wallflower, it goes without saying that each party will inevitably learn a valuable lesson from the other. While Bruno (Vittorio Gassman) seems to have everything figured out in his carefree approach to life, he mentions his loneliness in a series of small asides before the extent of his pain is unearthed. Roberto (Jean-Louis Trintignant) might be motivated and reasonable, but he has much to learn about how to pick up women and enjoy himself. While the way the film plays out adheres to a very accessible Commedia all’Italiana mold, Il Sorpasso is a film very much about crisis, having a certain skeptical wariness regarding change. The final moments cast everything that has come before in a new light. As much as Bruno’s lightheartedness is challenged, director Dino Risi still revels in it throughout the picture–the film is very much dictated by the rhythms of Gassman’s performance. In the end, however, letting one’s guard down in favor of hedonism is the catalyst for a great tragedy. Although Italy’s economy was in an upswing at the time of its release, Risi clearly hadn’t forgotten his predecessors: the neorealists.

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