Il giorno prima (1987)
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I had three problems with this film. The first is that I figured out the surprise plot twist that occurs at the end of the movie very early on in the movie. Maybe it comes from being a psychology major. Or maybe it was blatantly obvious.
My second problem was the way in which the characters behaved at the end of the movie. While I agree that in such a situation, otherwise normal people may behave in atypical, illogical, extreme behavior. However, I thought this film made such behaviors too extreme; this is the same problem I had with Lord of the Flies, where children turn into murdering cannibals when left alone on an island for awhile. I get the point both this film and Lord of the Flies were trying to make, but I think they both overstated it.
My third problem with this film is the characters themselves. There was very little depth to them, and they tended to be quite stereotyped. This problem likely arises from the fact that there are several important characters to flush out and only 2 hours minus commercials to do it in. Because of this, I think they should have either limited the number of people in the shelter to about 8, or they should have picked one or two characters and told it from their perspective.
This movie was a good way to waste time when I was having problems sleeping. If you want a movie that deals with either nuclear attack or the problems with a bunch of people confined to a small space in an intellectual, intriguing manner, this is not the movie for you. However, if you just want to waste a couple hours, this movie is great, because if you end up having something you have to do or if you can finally fall asleep or whatever, because this film does not engage you enough to prevent you from turning off the television.
Burt Lancaster hires people from all over Europe (I guess that explains why there's no token minorities), and Ben Gazzara to spend twenty days testing out a nuclear fallout shelter. They'll receive a bonus if they can all stay in for the full time period.
This means we have to sit through endless comments from everyone about how nuclear weapons are evil and how evil America is. Ben Gazzara is too nice to remind them they'd all be speaking German right now if it wasn't for him!
Actually Gazzara makes the moves on the most attractive women.
Predictably they receive news reports of a rogue nuclear missile headed in their direction. Gee, wonder if this is part of the test? Of course you're not wondering because it's obvious it is!
Rioting and looting are rampant and the rioters want inside the nuclear shelter.
Those inside are afraid and decide to gun them down with the M16s they have lying around. So the shelter can withstand a nuclear blast but not people banging on the door with their bare hands? That's when it's revealed it was all just a test.
The production quality gets into real Chester Novell Turner territory. I thought this was made for TV until I heard the F bombs.
Give this one a pass.