- The Consequences of Love (Le Conseguenze dell'Amore)
- Director: Paolo Sorrentino
- Year: 2004
When director Paolo Sorrentino (The Family Friend) was touring the film festivals with his 2001 film One Man Up, he passed the time by speculating about the secret lives of the people he encountered in the many hotels where he stayed. The eventual result of this speculation was the 2004 film Consequences of Love, a haunting and stylish examination of a solitary, purposeless life.
Toni Servillo plays Titta Di Girolamo, a forty-nine year old man who's spent the last eight years living alone in a Swiss hotel. Everything in Di Girolamo's life is sterile, from the hotel itself to the cold indifference with which he handles what human contact he can't manage to avoid. This sterility stretches to the style of the film, with its crisp film stock, clinical title sequence and ghostly electronic score. Even his habitual heroin use is passionless; he shoots up once a week, on a Wednesday morning, never deviating from his routine. The only purpose in his life revolves around the regular delivery to his room of suitcases full of money, which he deposits with a local bank.
Di Girolamo's long-standing routine is finally broken by a series of encounters, firstly with his stepbrother, who pays an unexpected and unwelcome visit, then with a pair of obnoxious Sicilian hitmen and finally with Sophia, a waitress whose friendly overtures Di Girolamo has been ignoring until she finally challenges him. 'I've worked here for two years and I greet you every day. You never answer. Have you, by any chance, realised I exist?' she asks him. When he finally sits down to speak to her, all we see of their first conversation is his opening comment, 'perhaps sitting at this bar is the most dangerous thing I've ever done in my life.' These words turn out to be prophetic, not just for Di Girolamo but also for Sophia.
He begins to open himself up to her, and to us, explaining about a mistake he made almost a decade before, when he lost a great deal of mafia money. As a result of this mistake he was sent to this hotel in permanent exile. The two people begin to forge a bond, but Di Girolamo has been alone in the hotel for too long. As the title suggests, there are dire consequences of Di Girolamo's attempt to reconnect with life, consequences rendered especially poignant because they are the consequences of love on the life of a man who has been forced to live for so long without love that, when he finally encounters it, he no longer knows what to do with it.
The Consequences of Love has been released on Region 2 DVD in the UK by Artificial Eye and is available as an import in the USA. It comes with a trailer, filmographies and a couple of short featurettes.