In Lâ€™Avventura, the question â€śWhy?â€ť is asked by most of the main characters, usually in a fit of frustration. In all cases, there is no answer forthcoming. Still, the question remains and repeating the question in a mocking tone is the only response the character being asked can muster up. Itâ€™s the only answer that makes any sense.
This is the kind of movie where characters walk around and talk to each other about life, love, and pain. The conversations the characters have with each other on these topics are honest, and the movieâ€™s funny in the way it never misses an opportunity to cut one character down by using another to contradict them. The characters lead listless lives (triple alliteration word score!) drifting from location to location with few worries and, seemingly, fewer responsibilities. Itâ€™s appropriate, then, that the movie opens with its characters on a boat trip. Theyâ€™re not going anywhere in particular, and theyâ€™re not really having any fun. When they arrive at a remote island, one of their party, a disillusioned woman named Anna, disappears. Her boyfriend, Sandro, and her best friend, Claudia, obsessively search for her, but thereâ€™s no trace. A few boats may have passed by during their search, and itâ€™s hinted that she was abducted by smugglers or maybe she even left of her own volition on one of these boats.
It doesnâ€™t matter because sheâ€™s not as important as the effect her disappearance has on Claudia and Sandro. After theyâ€™ve searched for a few days, Sandro begins putting the moves on Claudia. Sheâ€™s resistant to his advances at first, but eventually gives in and they begin an ill-fated affair. The ghost of Anna remains between them and Claudia, who was once the most ardent advocate of searching for Anna, now fears that her friend will show up and take Sandro away from her. Her fears arenâ€™t unwarranted. Sandro is clearly distracted, but itâ€™s not exactly Anna that occupies his thoughts as the movie demonstrates in its closing sequence. Heâ€™s bored, a man who had dreams of being a poor genius, but ended up being rich and unappreciated for whatever skills he thought he had.
All the characters are like this, people inhabiting roles that donâ€™t seem to suit them too well. A husband constantly berates his wife for being silly and frivolous, but when she flaunts an affair with a young painter (the kind of guy whoâ€™s painting, it seems, just to see naked women) he isnâ€™t too disturbed. The people at the center of the movie go from hotel to hotel so much, I realized late in the film that I had no idea where any of them lived or what, exactly, it was that most of them did to earn all this money. They all seem miserable and annoyed at everything around them.