'Il Sorpasso' - Movie Review

The title, "Il Sorpasso," apparently translates to "the overtaking:" Bruno constantly tailgates, honks, and passes other cars. The movie starts with extrovert Bruno borrowing Roberto's phone (this is 1962 - not a cellphone) - then as thanks, he offers to take him out for a drink. Which turns into lunch, and a drive out for dinner, and ... It's an Italian mismatched buddy comedy, an epic road movie, starring Vittorio Gassman as the magnetic and irresponsible Bruno, and Jean-Louis Trintignant as the shy and uncertain law student Roberto. Humour is found in Bruno's antics and unpredictability, and in Roberto's wishy-washiness as we hear his thoughts - he thinks "I should tell him I need to leave," and Bruno asks "Are you thinking of leaving?" to which Roberto replies "No, no - let's party!"

I knew what I was getting in to, and I didn't think I would like the characters or the movie. But Gassman as Bruno is utterly mesmerising and disarmingly charming - even though he's unpredictable and occasionally quite crass or unpleasant, you totally understand why Roberto falls under his spell. I didn't laugh out loud much, but I grinned a lot and the characters really carried the story. I really enjoyed it.