Film Review: “Youth” (2015) ★★★★★


After youth comes adulthood and then the old age. The beauty of it is to understand not only the differences between them but to realize the time when wisdom finally arrives to your life. Youth is beautifully written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino and true indication of how the art of filmmaking, storytelling, music, performance and great assembly of cast can transform one film into something totally amazing and remarkably outstanding piece of art, called Youth.

A retired orchestra conductor, Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) is on holiday with his daughter, Lena Ballinger (Rachel Weisz) and his film director best friend, Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday. Meantime, he meets a young actor, Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano) who tries to prepare himself for another role. All of them have to face the true meaning of life, their age, and advantages it may give them. But one thing in this film is always clear: you can’t write music if you don’t know how to love; you can’t write a screenplay if you do not picture someone in your head; the story of a life is not about years, but beautiful and touching moments you leave behind as a legacy.

Right from the beginning the film throws you into the world of philosophy, deep thinking and analysis of past, present and future. The movie delivers the scent of love, freedom, pain and regret that always come when you’re ready to face it. Even though Fred Ballinger is the only professional musician appearing in the film, each character involved in it writes his own tune and lyrics that reflect their current life. It’s all about you, the viewer who must have the ability to hear it, understand the real intention of Youth and its approach and how sometimes aging can be a huge disappointment, but meantime a great gift that rewards you with great skills of not only understanding life, but to meet its end with grace.

Rachel Weisz as Lena is gripping, Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel together create an absolute masterpiece, while Jane Fonda probably had five minutes of screen time, but that was enough to envelop the entire film with her stunning in-depth performance. Seeing Fonda as Brenda Morel is what we call “a great beauty of a performance” being taught in every acting school. In the end, Paolo Sorrentino beautifully captures the fascination of youth, while two aging men enjoy their latest idyllic lives. A life, that will always be remembered as one of the greatest gift, if you don’t miss its real point. If you’re ready to look at it the way it is, it’s not too late. Youth should be a film you must refer if you don’t just want to watch the film, but learn something very important from it.

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