Caligari and his Don’t Be Bad
Caligari is able to reach an intense dramatic tension throughout the film and to portray bits of reality with strong vividness.
Set in the 90s, Don’t Be Bad talks about Cesare (Luca Marinelli) and Vittorio (Alessandro Borghi), who are two friends who’ve known each other since childhood. They live their lives without worrying about the future, having fun and doing drugs, until finally Vittorio grows bored. So, when he finds a job and somebody to settle down with, the two friends take different paths.
Don’t Be Bad is the last film by Claudio Caligari as well as the last part of a trilogy, after Toxic Love and The Scent of the Night. This film is clearly an homage to the poet, writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, but Caligari’s own identity as a director is very definite and identifiable. He is able to create intense dramatic tension throughout the film and to vividly portray extracts of reality.
Alessandro Borghi and Luca Marinelli, both rising stars in Italian cinema, give proof of their abilities and their performances are extremely genuine. The characters of Cesare and Vittorio portray a generation, after Pasolini, of the eternally young, with the typically Italian hope for an easy, effortless life. However, there is more to this.
Cesare and Vittorio are the faces of the same medal. The very fact that they belong to the lower class seems to entail a predisposition towards crime and drug-dealing, especially since this kind of life passes on from father to child, like an unbreakable curse. So, even though Vittorio finds a job, this doesn’t mean that he has won, or that he can rise above his background.
Ostia, a town by the sea, is the social environment which suffocates their aspirations and at the same time justifies their painful stillness. Beautiful shots are dedicated to it, providing subtle visual quotes of Pasolini’s works.
But, while Pasolini’s purpose was denunciation of such social stillness, Caligari seems to convey a different message. Ours are different times, in which Caligari finds hope for change.
Cast: Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Roberta Mattei, Silvia D’Amico, Alessandro Bernardini, Valentino Campitelli, Danilo Cappanelli, Manuel Rulli, Elisabetta De Vito, Alice Clementi