They’ll never, ever make a movie version of Gravity’s Rainbow, and that’s just fine, but there are moments in Youth Without Youth that definitely reminded me of vague memories I have of that book I read but didn’t understand.
…..And there were stretches where I didn’t understand Youth Without Youth, if not on a plot level than on a “what can this mean, man?” level.
Youth Without Youth, a history-skipping, genre-bouncing trip through Central Europe (and a little bit of the Dawn of Time) is nothing if not heavy, and certainly is beautiful. The cinematography, camera moves, set design and music will leave you thunderstruck right there on your couch – all the more easy for the unconventional and unpredictable screenplay to try and knock you out with its many head-fakes.
More than once I said, “wait, what? Really? That’s awesome!” I didn’t expect shots of Tim Roth center frame speaking into a microphone babbling in an invented language. Wait, what?