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Review: “Don’t Be Bad”

By Khalil Flier

Don’t Be Bad (Non Essere Cattivo) tells the story of┬áCesare and Vittorio who are friends for life since childhood and have spent the better part of their primes living hard and fast, conning whoever has something to lose and fighting anyone who dares to get in their way. But after Vittorio has one bad night too many he decides it’s time for a change. It is around this time that he meets Linda, who represents his shot at a clean life. In an attempt to a get to his salvation, Vittorio tries to distance himself from Cesare. The separation only lasts so long though, as their bond proves to be too strong. Vittorio does everything he can to keep Cesare from going off the rails completely, but when tragedy strikes, the repercussions threaten to rip him and their friendship apart.

The two words I was left with after watching Claudio Caligari’s Don’t Be Bad, gripping and tragic. This film at its core is a study about how great beauty and great horror can often be found in the same places. This point is highlighted all throughout the film by the stark contrast between the stunning cinematography, and the vividly disgusting personalities who struggle against their true nature frame after frame. The score also shares this element of duality, with some moments being tender and deeply touching, while other movements are cold, rigid, and electric. All of this sets the stage perfectly for the incredible acting ability of the leading men portraying Cesare and Vittorio. From the very

The score also shares this element of duality, with some moments being tender and deeply touching, while other movements are cold, rigid, and electric. All of this sets the stage perfectly for the incredible acting ability of the leading men portraying Cesare and Vittorio, played by Luca Marinelli and Alessandro Borghi. From the very start, you get wrapped up in their characters despite their flawed personalities, and you route for them all throughout the picture despite all they put themselves and their loved ones through. In just over an hour and a half, you’re given a saga that’s grimy and brutal, while sending you a message that is anything but.

Don’t Be Bad had a small theatrical run last weekend and will hit VOD services on May 23.

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