One of the best films of the year is also the best drama. Just think about a theatrical play of Bard’s classic ‘Julius Caesar’ performed by long term sentenced or lifetime prisoners and convicts. Yes, this is not recreating something; this is hybrid film made with real life prisoners; all played by actual inmates and that builds the intensity of drama to different level. Shifting between flashback and present, black & white and color, Taviani Brothers’ this film’s highlight lies in the performances of those real prisoners.
The film opens and ends in color on stage performance and in the middle we see an interesting audition round, selection and rehearsal sessions in a group and individual. The cast brought stellar and passionate performances of Brutus, Cassius and Caesar and Anthony; all key players of classic play. Salvatore Striano as Brutus is surely the man to watch. The film is less than one and half hours duration and there’s not a moment of drag. The play runs more in rehearsal sessions than stage and that’s something which gives it an interesting and different feel. It ends with stage enacting of final scene and audience’s ovation but the punch comes in the film’s final moment where going back to their barrack the man utters most beautiful line of the film, you got to find it on your own to know what I mean.
So folks, if you done away with this year’s much lauded ‘Amour’ and ‘Holy Motors’, this is surely a must watch of the year. The film won Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival and an entry of
Italy for Best
Foreign Language film in upcoming Oscar.