This film is hailed as a masterpiece, and I agree the direction, cinematography, acting, and the concepts and ideas portrayed are very good, but the film moves at such a slow pace, for so long, it becomes quite boring. I found myself waiting anxiously just to arrive at the end of the film. The film compared to others, isn't actually that long, but because of the slow pace, it feels that way. I feel the story could have been changed to add some fresh material to quicken it up a little, but still keep the same issues on screen.
The film begins as Anna, her boyfriend Sandro, and her good friend Claudia go on a trip in a yacht with their friends. Anna is afraid to loose Sandro, but she wants time alone, as she cannot seem connect with him anymore. Soon Anna is found to be missing, and they all search for her, Sandro and Claudia spending more time with each other. Sandro falls in love with Claudia but she does not accept him. After a while, she does, and they forget all about Anna. The rest of the film shows their relationship, and how quickly and paradoxically our opinions and feelings can change.
The characters are empty, they feel nothing. All they trick themselves to believe they are feeling is just an illusion. They do not understand themselves, and as a result they do not understand their relationships. Their emptiness is well portrayed, as is their selfishness. The acting is well done, and directing is superb. When this film was released in 1960 it was very influential. There are no real happy moments in this film. There is some romance but it is all for the characters to gain for themselves, it is not true love. If these situations interest you, and you can stand extremely slow, and long films, you may want to check this out. But I feel this is too overrated. 3 stars.