Sunday, 21 October 2012

LFF: Caesar Must Die

This docudrama from Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani has a great ensemble of Rome's toughest prisoners, as they perform  Shakespeare's Julius Caesar from the confines of their prison walls. It's a perfect setting for the Roman classic, and the audition process is a particularly enjoyable piece, watching the tough men switch between a tearful, bumbling wreck, to a ferocious and angry orator. The dialogue is delivered with aplomb, with Caesar in particular rolling the words with such majesty and rhythm in the Italian tongue. Aside from the deliverance, the setting is also a master's touch, particularly given the fact that JC is all about betrayal and conspiracy - so perfectly conveyed amidst the corridors, knocks and crannies of the prison, as the scenes flit between cells, yards, the library, cages, window ledges and allies. There are occasions when the prisoners break down and stop rehearsals to cope with some of the scenes paralleling their own lives, and there are one or two occasions when it feels contrite and staged, but nevertheless, it's a fascinating performance and the old-timer directors should be applauded for their creativity and vision, as should the prisoners themselves. * * * *  (4) 

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