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Caesar Must Die (2012)
"Cesare deve morire" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  2 March 2012 (Italy)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,414 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 15 user | 125 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Inmates at a high-security prison in Rome prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."

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(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Cosimo Rega ...
Cassio
Salvatore Striano ...
Bruto
Giovanni Arcuri ...
Cesare
Antonio Frasca ...
Marcantonio
Juan Dario Bonetti ...
Decio
Vincenzo Gallo ...
Lucio
Rosario Majorana ...
Metello
Francesco De Masi ...
Trebonio
Gennaro Solito ...
Cinna
Vittorio Parrella ...
Casca
Pasquale Crapetti ...
Legionary
Francesco Carusone ...
Fortune Teller
Fabio Rizzuto ...
Stratone
Fabio Cavalli ...
Theatre Director
Maurilio Giaffreda ...
Ottavio
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Storyline

In Rebibbia Prison in Italy, its inmate theatre program puts on a well received production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The film goes back several months earlier as the coordinators announces the play as the program's production of the year. With that project set, we see its creation as the cast is auditioned and selected for this artistic challenge. As they rehearse, the prisoners, many of whom are long termers and lifers for serious crimes, find that the classic play has both a striking resonance and contrast to their confined lives. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

2 March 2012 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Cesare deve morire  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani heard about the prisoners acting program and contacted Fabio Cavalli with the idea of doing Shakespeare's play and shot the whole experience. See more »

Connections

Featured in Film 2014: Episode dated 27 February 2013 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Prison, Theater, Freedom...
24 February 2012 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

A week has passed since I watched "Cesare deve morire" and I am still trying to decipher the multiple layers on which this film has worked in my mind. The brothers Taviani have directed a masterpiece of 76' which however is so dense in content that the time is waxing inside one's own memory.

The Tavianis are documenting the mis-en-scene of a Shakespeare piece inside a prison. Probably the most impressive element of "Cesare deve morire" is the performances of the inmate actors. The fact that the film is shot as a documentary in its natural setting spreads the film in two layers which are seamlessly weaved on each other. On the first level we see the prisoners who are passionately rehearsing the lines of their characters and on the second level we stand on front of Cesar, Brutus and Antonius discussing in the alleys of Rome. As in the case of Bergman, the brothers Taviani are very successfully studying the relationship between theater and cinema.

This prison setting is extremely symbolic and renders the actor performances utterly intense. It feels as if the prisoners, lacking their physical freedom, are getting deep into the skin of those new personas seeking the experiences which prison has deprived them of. The performances are so convincing that one has to contemplate on the nature of human destiny. Could it be that one's social condition or even coincidences could make the same persons capable of the best and of the worst? Moreover, the film leads to an unavoidable rumination of the concept of freedom in all its forms.

A stark black and white photography pronounces the prison architecture and recreates ancient Rome in its bare corridors. The photography is perfectly self-standing and it would be of great artistic value even in the absence of a plot. The black and white may emphasize the lack of freedom of the inmates but also allows the spectator to ignore redundant information and to concentrate on the performances of the actors. It is remarkable how architectural beauty arises even in a prison. The common spaces are illustrated exceptionally well and after a while one feels lost in a limbo between the prison and Rome.

Finally, although the audience reaches catharsis after the end of Shakespeare's narration the narration of brothers Taviani remains unresolved into ones psyche. I personally believe that "Cesare deve morire" is one of those rare cinematic experiences that are capable to shake away well entrenched beliefs. That alone would make the film worth seeing. Gladly, those 76' are so much more.


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