The most famous film by celebrated Italian director Federico Fellini, 'La Dolce Vita' caused quite a stir on release for its portrayal of decadence in 1960's Rome. Although not for all tastes, this modern classic is never less than entertaining for all of its three hour duration.
Fellini had abandoned his earlier, celebrated, 'neo-realist' style for a more image centered approach, and 'La Dolce Vita' illustrates this perfectly. From the opening shot of the statue of Christ being lifted by helicopter over Rome to it's most famous scene of Anita Ekberg dancing in the Trevi fountain, the film is full of eye catching moments. Regular Fellini collaborator Nino Rota, provides a wonderful score which is as central to the film as the work of its director.
Marcello Mastroianni plays a gossip columnist who although dissatisfied with what he sees as his worthless life, is unwilling to give up 'the sweet life' among Rome's café society in favour of a more rewarding existence. With a cigarette in his mouth and a jaded look in his eyes, Mastroianni perfectly plays the part of a bored tabloid journalist, constantly socializing with Rome's high society, but always disappointed with himself. Most of the characters in the movie are directionless and without morals, which makes its setting in Rome all the more ironic.
The DVD release of this classic movie contains an excellent transfer from a good quality print, However the subtitles are built into the picture and cannot be turned off, In addition I also feel that the subtitles don't translate all the dialogue from the original script, and finally, the disc is regrettably light on extras. That said, For any broad minded movie lover, 'La Dolce Vita' is a more than worthy addition to their DVD collection.