It is almost an impertinence to think that we understand the thoughts of these actors and those in the audience who are relatives and friends. But this is the intriguing privilege that the Taviani brothers have given us.
A clever if sometimes mystifying, combination of documentary, invention and post-modernism.
| Original Score: 3/5
A film somewhere between documentary and neo-realist drama.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Destined to lose years in prison, the actors seem to take pride -- and solace -- in their association with something as seemingly immortal as Shakespeare's words.
As they find issues and themes they can relate to, the action is never remotely static despite the frequent nature of the close-ups and the plastic sword.
| Original Score: 4/5
The problem with the film, which somewhat inexplicably won the Golden Bear at Berlin last year, is that it scarcely transcends the basic novelty of its premise.
There's barely a wasted moment in the film, which runs a brisk 76 minutes and contains no female roles.
| Original Score: 3/4
There's an intensity and emotional accuracy to the performances that's just stunning, particularly Striano's Brutus, as he longs for death and release.
| Original Score: A-
The juxtaposition of Shakespearean text and prison cell life is a particularly poignant one.
It is difficult to understand exactly where documentary ends and fiction begins, but the finale, again in colour, of the triumphant first night of the production can't fail to move.
It's never anything less than interesting, though I felt it didn't quite fulfil its potential, and the repetition of material at the beginning and end is disconcerting.
It is uncanny how Italy's film-makers keep failing to nail, or effectively to satirise, their country's strident political shortcomings.
| Original Score: 2/5
Deeply felt melancholy lingers long after the credits roll.
Delivers a compelling and considered take on immemorial themes.
It's an arresting, playful and moving film ...
[It] has plenty of wit and punch, although compared to the best of the medium - Man On Wire, for instance - it sometimes comes off as guileless and clunky.
Prison theatricals are nothing new in the movies, but Caesar Must Die, a quasi-documentary featuring hardened convicts acting out Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, is in a class by itself.
Ranks among the most involving adaptations of Shakespeare ever put on screen ...
What works best is what's readily accessible, the startling power of performers who understand the drama all too well.