Youth without Youth
1938. Professor Dominic Matei is at the end of his life and wants to commit suicide. He’s lost the love of his life and never managed to reach his goal to write a book about the origins of language. However, life has something else in mind for him. When he gets struck by lightning he survives and after a long recovery it becomes clear he’s even grown younger. Under guidance of his doctor, Professor Stanciulescu, he also finds out that he’s developing several extremely strange abilities but with with the second World War at hand, he has to make sure to keep out of the hands of the Nazis who want to experiment on him.
Years later, he meets a woman who looks exactly like his once beloved Laura but when she gets struck by lightning as well it becomes clear he’ll have to make a choice between his love and his life’s work…
Sound and Vision:
The image quality is decent with no obnoxious compression errors, very limited grain and an overall satisfactory amount of detail.
The sound isn’t anything special but the lightning scene as well as some of the atmosphere-setting music make good use of the surround speakers. Dialogues are clear and understandable at all times.
Francis Ford Coppola has made some remarkable movies like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. However, Youth without Youth does not fall in that category of film. For that the pace is too slow, the storyline too far-fetched and the tone too dramatic. Things never seem to really move forward and from time to time we suddenly seem to jump to another period in time without there being any real closure.
Youth without Youth isn’t a bad film per se but Coppola dwells too much in emotion and doesn’t use the plentitude of possibilities there are with the background of the supernatural abilities and the Nazi environment. Instead it’s all about the choice the main character needs to make and it doesn’t make for an entertaining experience.
Youth without Youth would probably never have been noticed by anyone if it hadn’t been directed by Coppola but even that isn’t a reference in this case.