La Dolce Vita is directed by Frederico Fellini, and it is one of my favourite films of all time. The film shows seven days in the life of this journalist, Marcello Rubini. these seven days show him pursuing people who can fetch him news, hanging out with a famous movie star, hanging out with his father, dealing with his toxic girlfriend while he is trying to find his place in modern Roman society.
La Dolce Vita is not a film for everyone, on the surface, it looks like a film about a guy who’s navigating through life. But below the surface it’s one of the deepest films ever made. It is a satire on modern society and a character study about this hedonistic guy who is really involved in the upper class Rome party life. He is living this glamourous life in which he is trying to find pleasure and entertainment. He has this idea of an ideal life which he is trying hard to achieve. seeing his friend, Steiner living it makes him envious. He spends time with various women but none of them are able to alleviate the emptiness inside him. Throughout the film he is not able to achieve the things he wants. Fellini is trying to convey to the viewers how meaningless and futile life is. he is also trying to say that we look for happiness elsewhere and how we are not able to harness the happiness inside us.
All the seven chapters end with dawn. The night seems to be going good but as dawn comes, something or the other happens that makes our lead Marcello feel disappointed. The film also shows how every relationship that this guy has is not that good, be it the relationship with his father who he barely knows or his girlfriend who he doesn’t love. Fellini has also shown the city of Rome, as both a city of dreams but also as a city of disappointments. He’s also shown the contrast that this city presents, from people of the high-class cafe society to the underprivileged people. People are emotionally detached from each other and most relationships are selfish and superficial. There is also some commentary on religion specifically Christianity- about how people would just blindly believe anything related to God.
This review will not complete if I don’t talk about Marcello Mastroianni. He embodies this existential character. A lot of the film relies on his facial expressions, and I think that he’s done a tremendous job. His character has been given so many layers that you understand why he may be acting a certain way.
In the end, La Dolce Vita is a really deep movie that would take a few watches to fully understand the essence of. Frederico Fellini is a genius, the things that he has talked about and the way he has shown them is truly extraordinary. La Dolce vita just may be my favourite Italian film of all time.