The Consequences of Love (2004) Poster

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Beneath the serenity of daily living lies the lies…or truth?
RJBurke19424 April 2007
This is a very visual film. By that I mean that the dialog is sparse, almost to the point of being a silent movie for some very long takes, beginning with the opening shot.

The silences, however, are broken by a stunning sound track that ranges from discordant, staccato beats to a haunting mix of violins, and interspersed with vocals that sound like dreams. It's a feast for the ears as much as for the eyes, one of the early visuals being a man walking along a street, so preoccupied with his interest in a shapely woman, that he walks into a lamppost: one of the consequences of love and a metaphor for what lies in store...

A long time ago, another movie – Love Story (1970) -- said that love is never having to say you're sorry. This narrative turns that idea on its head in a number of ways, beginning with the main character, Titta (Toni Sevillo), a seemingly innocuous long-term resident in a plush hotel somewhere in Switzerland. Everyday, week in, week out, he sits at the same coffee table, enjoying the passing world, his cigarettes, his coffee, his solitude – and he's been doing it for ten years. He sits, he observes, and once a week he engages in three very surprising activities that you'll find out about when you see this little masterpiece...

Love is explored in another way, in a direct counterpoint to Titta's solitude and reserved nature: two older residents of the hotel are still much in love, but the man wants to die in a spectacular manner when his time comes, while his long suffering wife berates him for cheating at cards with the other guests, one of whom is Titta. Now, Titta knows about their squabbles, their love, the man's cheating, his apologies to his wife, and his whining. How? In a surprising and black-comedic of those surprise activities I mentioned.

But, this is no comedy, in reality, although it does touch upon the idea of the human comedy in a Balzacian sense: the irony of life and what to do with it. That decision had been made for Titta ten years earlier when he left his wife and began to live in the hotel. He keeps in touch occasionally, and it is clear that he still loves his children (now grown up) and the sorrow in his voice speaks volumes. But, there's something more than just sorrow...

Such a life as Titta's would obviously seem to be utterly boring, and it actually is from many perspectives. It is only when we learn what lies beneath his almost death-like countenance, however, that the horror of his situation hits the viewer between the eyes. But not before we know that the female bartender, Sofia (Olivia Magnani), is very interested in Titta and goes out of her way to pique Titta's interest in her.

And that's when things start to unravel for Titta: he eventually succumbs to her femininity and in doing so discovers, once again, the consequences of love. Ironically, in doing so, he finally realizes what he must finally do with his life, and in a most spectacular fashion.

I know that all of the above is somewhat cryptic; but, to say more would spoil the film and story for you. If you like Italian cinema – I love it! – I urge you to see this one. The acting is superb; the sound track chills the spine; the camera work is truly innovative; the direction shows the maturity of a true artist.

I know I'll see this movie again, and again...
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Stylistic miracle of camera-work and storytelling.
Rubin5530 January 2005
I saw Le Conseguenze Dell'Amore on the 2005 Rotterdam Filmfestival, It was the first of ten films I saw there.

Le Conseguenze has left the most powerful impression of the ten films. From the first shot, you know the movie is going to be something special. The beautiful cinematography left me in awe of what can be done with a camera. The music is also on par with the visuals, complementing the colorful and stylish architecture-like images.

Toni Servillo plays the main character in the film, Titta. He's a tax expert gone wrong who lives in a hotel. Every week, he brings a suitcase with money to a bank and the story plays around this.

He is always very controlled and shows almost no emotion to anyone; Looks calculated and well-dressed. He has a habit of ignoring people who are of no significance to him. For example Sofia (played very nicely by Olivia Magnani), who works as a barmaid in the hotel where he lives. Although she's been working in the hotel for two years, he never greets her, even if she does greet him. On one day she confronts him with this and the next day he sits at the bar, instead of his usual spot at a window. From here the story really begins, and will unfold in a strong tale of love, sacrifice and the mafia.

I won't spoil the rest of the film. See this film if you love stylish movies like ones from David Lynch, The Godfather, etc. Don't see this if you're an action-buff.
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remfanit9 August 2005
OK, I'm Italian but there aren't so many Italian film like this. I think that the plot is very good for 3/4 of the film but the final is too simple, too predictable. But it's the only little mistake. The Consequences of Love in my opinion have great sequences in particular at the beginning and great soundtrack. I'd like very much the lighting work on it. The best thing on it is a great, great actor. You know, if your name were Al Pacino now everybody would have still been talking about this performance. But it's only a great theater Italian actor called Toni Servillo. Yes, someone tell me this film and this kind of performance it's too slow, it's so boring, so many silences, but i think that this components its fantastic, its the right way for describing the love story between a very talented young girl, the grand-daughter of the Italian actress Anna Magnani, Olivia and the old mysterious man Toni. One of my favorite Italian films.
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Distinguished & deliciously cool
tim-764-29185610 January 2011
The opening shot is hypnotic, drawing you in. Into a world of strangeness and solemnity. A deep, Italian baritone-voiced narrator making the invite ever more enticing. Then:

A middle-aged gentleman just sits in the hotel lounge, looking intelligent and distant, distinguished but also downright arrogant and rude. He never speaks to staff, or other guests, even, despite having been in residence for ten years.

He does something, without fail every Wednesday - and a couple more things the same day, once a year.

The sort of gentleman one could chance upon in any hotel, pretty well anywhere in the world. A poker-face of nothingness, smoking his life away, his concentration on his inner world only broken by the burned out cigarette stub. The excellent acting of Toni Servillo, coupled with the sublime direction of Paolo Sorrentino, employing a Kubrick style of slo-steadicam, with an ever sense of steady dread.

Always compelling rather than propelling, the story unfolds with Servillo's character, Titta, as he leads this strictly regimented life until confronted by the stunning Sofia, the barmaid. She looks at him straight in his eye and states that she's made his bed, served him this and that, had always been polite and courteous for the three years she's worked there. And he's never had the decency to utter a single word to her.

Instead of being nice back or even saying anything at all, we're aware that a flicker of something human has sparked within him. But, as the very title states, this lowering of his guard could very well be his downfall.

What does, however inflame this film and raises it even higher are the occasional flurries of activity. Titta hardly does anything more than almost nothing (driving one block, or looking around - not buying, though - a shopping mall) is accompanied by very loud punk rock music. This is unsettling - is this a dream he's having? Does he yearn for the fast life? Are the people he meets from a past, productive life? Do the characters he encounters then have any relevance to him - and to his situation now? The scenes look very real; the mood and ambiance are definitely not.

Moving on into the realms of more conventional crime drama, but still with a cool unease and an almost Memento meditative pace, the whole reveals lives and opportunities lost. Of redemptive longing and knowing one's own fate. This is an intelligent film that refuses to retread a potentially familiar path.

If in the U.K, BBC4 shows it again, wrap yourself inside it, be enveloped by it. You'll want to watch all of it, not that you know why but you'll be glad that you did. It's only 90mins. I've seen The Consequences... four times now, and I never tire of it. The ending will have you quietly shocked and amazed, too.
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Film of the year....
movietipster24 November 2005
A true masterpiece by Sorrentino and Tony Servillo demonstrates his exceptional acting ability as the cool, enigmatic Titta.

Yet another example of a must see movie that the everyday person will not receive access, as the high street cinema chains are full of Hollywood funded nonsense. Fortunately I reside in the metropolis and amongst the privileged few who enjoy the choice the art-house cinema provides. I champion the day when cinema investment will be channelled into bespoke film screenings allowing choice for the masses and away from assembling penny sweet counters!

Film of the year for me so far and yes I've seen a few....
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The Beast with elegance and beauty
sp230325 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Le conseguenze dell'amore (2004)is a beautifully made film that takes small carefully positioned steps towards its ending that need to be savoured in order to be enjoyed. From the contrasting landscapes, to the tightly enclosed world that the hero inhabits, we are taken by the Director and controlled from the very moment we enter the hotel. We, like the hero, will never escape from the suffocating intensity and paradoxical monotony of his criminally driven, Mafia world. That the film resists Mafia stereotypes whilst revelling in them makes it all the more successful. The concrete grave, the inevitable brutal executions and overwhelming maleness are laid bare and exposed for what they are. Just brutality and business, and no more. Life is about being part of the corporate machine that is organised crime and not about love or living for self, family or others. Our hero is indeed a hero in that he gives up his life for the sake of the touch of the beautiful barmaid, the resolution of the misery suffered by his only neighbours in the hotel and in order to escape his decorative prison. The consequences of love are indeed beautiful and brutal at the same time. See it!!
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Cementing a pact with the Mafia.
Bloxsaw20 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Stylish, thought provoking, cool and gripping – just four aspects of a film that will long remain in the thoughts of this viewer.

Slow-paced it may be at the beginning but the director beguiles with beautiful camera work, sophisticated compositions and elegant editing. The unfolding of the story, not so much the narrative line but the revelation of the characters' inner selves, is masterful.

Olivia Magnani, who plays Sophia, the hotel receptionist, who finally breaks down the icy reserve of former consiglierie Titta di Girolami (Tony Servillo) is coolly beautiful and reveals hidden depths and personal honesty in her brief but profound relationship with Girolami.

The disgraced Mafia middle-man, forced to live out an empty life, tormented by insomnia, in a Swiss hotel, becomes caught up in the similarly empty lives of the refined older couple who formerly owned the hotel but are now forced to live there as residents after the husband gambled away their resources years earlier. The husband is constantly dreaming about recovering his lost wealth and making a grand statement to the world. His wife realises this is but a pipe dream. This nicely counterpoints the resignation of Girolami who sees no way out and does not seek one.

The fleeting love affair between Girolami and Sophia has consequences that no one could have foreseen. It enables him to escape his prison without bars but to pay a huge price that he willingly accepts and in doing so provides redemption for the older couple.
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An existential mafia-film of rare visual beauty, directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Warning: Spoilers
Paolo Sorrentino is one of the greatest contemporary European auteurs and his films are known for their stylistic elegance and the unique visual imagery that the Italian director creates. ''The Consequences of Love'' (original title: ''Le Conseguenze dell'amore'' is a little-known and massively underrated masterpiece and its viewing experience is a true delight for the human senses. The film has another advantage and its name is Toni Servillo, one of the best actors in his generation in both Europe and U.S. The films protaogonist, Titta Di Girolamo, is a quiet and taciturn lodger in a small hotel in the Swiss city of Lugano. Titta is living there for the last eight years, away from his homeland (Italy) and his family. The reasons for this (kind of) exile are unknown to the audience at the beginning of the movie and the viewer has to use his imagination in search of the possible reasoning behind Titta's current predicament. During the first 30-40 minutes or so, we -as audience- are introduced to the repetitive, purposeless and mundane everyday routine of the protagonist who is also the narrator o f the story and we can hear his thoughts in voice-over. Gradually, Titta also reveals some of little secrets to us like his heroin use, and slowly as the plot unfolds we learn the truth about Titta's special kind of imprisonment in a hotel room for those last few years. Eight years before, he managed a big amount of money that the almighty Mafia has given to him in order to invest it. Due to bad luck -or perhaps incompetence- Titta lost the money and he was sent to Switzerland to act as a middle-man for the mob, delivering each week a suitcase full of laundered money to a Swiss bank. Titta's predictable and uneventful existence will start to shake when he meets the young Italian girl, named Sofia, who is a receptionist in the hotel he lives. Sofia is portrayed by the exquisitely beautiful actress, Olivia Magnani, the granddaughter of Anna Magnani who is one of the most popular Italian cinema divas. Magnani -literally- shines in each and every scene she is in and her character is the one who will attempt to get to know the mysterious Titta a little better, even they they haven't spoke a word the two years that she works as a receptionist to the hotel. What makes this movie unforgettable is, first of all, the masterful direction by Sorrentino who is an expert at using the camera in a way that captures the essence and mood of Titta's solitary existence, while reflecting his innermost feelings and thoughts. Apart from that, the performances are excellent and Toni Servillo ought to get nominated for a number of awards as he is able to essentially transform into the character of each film he is playing. I really doubt that there is an actor more suitable for Titta's role than himself. Servillo's acting stands out, of course, because ''The Consequences of Love'' is a film that concentrates on the protagonist's character, thus offering the actor more space to show his skills. But the secondary roles also, Magnani being the first, do a magnificent job and add to the movie's whole character. This is a movie the every cinephile should watch, though I believe that it will appeal more to the European audiences. It is one of the rare times that I evaluate a film, tv series, and novel in such a manner, but ''The Consequences of Love'' is worthy of 5/5 star rating.
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Strove for money, bean counter, self-composure and errors of person's priorities are in the center of this film.
ankarakina9 July 2015
«The Consequences of Love» rises above typical films. It penetrates into your mind and thoughts. The mood and atmosphere of the film is created with the help of wonderful soundtrack.

The title of the film promises a love story and a happy ending, a beautiful romantic picture with the elements of a thriller. But of what or for is this love, whether it is directed to a human being or to a thing. Strove for money, bean counter, self-composure and errors of person's priorities are in the center of this film.

A hotel where the main character lives embodies our futile existence. We take risks when we're young and a wide range of prospects is ahead of us. But the price of an error is too high that we have to correct it during the rest of our lives. And whether we are able to take risks and overcome the consequences once again is still a question.

«The Consequences of Love» impressed me in many aspects. The plot and the denouement are quite unpredictable. You follow every movement of the camera unable to take your eyes of the screen. Every character's motion is saturated with disappointment, lament and humility to the slow and suffocating pace of life.

Once being a broker yearning for voluptuous and amoral living Titto looses the game and now has to follow the recurring routine of his existence that seems to become eternal. Unable to become the lord of this life Titto' s hopes for a "dolce vita" dashes in a fraction of a second. He turns into a machine unable to produce any positive emotion or impulsive action. Only fear keeps him. Nevertheless even this emotion becomes blunt in the end.

Titto repays mafia for his mistake in the youth by transferring money to a Swiss bank once or twice in the week. This vicious circle doesn't have an end, being imprisoned in the hotel Titto turns into an aloof, morose and lifeless creature too tired to show any sighs of interest in the monotonous current of life.

Indifference, vanity and loneliness become his friends. Only heroin enables him to dissolve and get rid of his constant condition of a dead man. A young waitress persistent in her attempts to attract Titto's attention and penetrate into his thoughts reimburses our character from his slumber. Being at first pessimistic on the account of love he makes decision to take risk once again in his life. But the slightest change makes Titto fist time an all the time sure that no one loved him and the life itself has never loved him. The only thing that Titto regrets and is certain about is his friendship with a man from his past.

The film bewildered me with its smooth and even depiction of a man's life buried under strain of his own thoughts and inner incapability to surrender and at the same time to defeat this world. It is one of my favorite type of films – the film – mood that plunges you into the cluster of feelings, anticipations and torpor of someone's life and more vividly enables you to understand your own perception of the world and place among the others.

The ending of this picture has won my deepest admiration. Being symbolic and metaphoric it has the most realistic and solely veritable version of a concluding phase of such people' lives. He would be buried under concrete over and over again in his vain attempt to cheat this world. Lacking «intelligence» he would be cheated by this world.
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A masterpiece of a psychological thriller.
maan-aljasser10 August 2019
Sorrentino's best work (The Great Beauty apart).

A character study that will keep you wondering and guessing for the first half hour.

The perfect cast, except for the lover: too young and too beautiful for the unattractive, middle-aged main character.

Not to be missed.
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