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Caesar Must Die Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

November 11, 2012
An interesting docufiction that is both an intelligent meta-narrative feat and an important record of a real production - the staging of Shakespeare in a prison. But above all, it shows how Art can have a transforming impact on even the most unexpected of people.
c0up
c0up

Super Reviewer

June 7, 2012
'Caesar Must Die'. A skillful blurring of documentary and scripted material in this meta, exploratory take on 'Julius Caesar'.

I really liked this. I didn't love it though, the main reason being I didn't feel I got to know the characters, and form that emotional attachment. Your introduction is the casting process, and maybe the lines were *too* skillfully blurred for me to form that attachment as it went along. I wanted them to "break character" for lack of a better phrase more often, and get to know them. No doubt the fourth wall was broken occasionally, but I couldn't follow them on their journey as much as I'd like to have.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

April 8, 2013
I saw this at the 2013 Cleveland International Film Festival. I loved it! It is partly in color and partly in black and white. It is not a straightforward production of Julius Caesar. It is about the theater process. The actors are real-life incarcerated Italian prisoners. We end up seeing an abbreviated version of the play, since time is spent reading between the lines. We watch some of the auditions. We watch the rehearsals. We watch a couple of the leads as they privately memorize their lines and sort out their characters' motivations. We watch the whole prison get excited for the magic of theater. And then in color, we see bits of the performance staged for the public. The aftermath is used as bookends, and while it doesn't make much sense at the start, it is heartbreaking at the end as we observe the impact theater had on these men who still face confinement. It is well shot and there are moments of tension as well as comedy. We learn in the closing credits that Giovanni Arcuri, who plays Caesar, and Cosimo Rega, who plays Cassius, have both written books. Cosimo was apparently profoundly affected by the experience. Salvatore Striano, who is excellent as Brutus, has since continued acting on stage and in four other feature films.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

February 25, 2013
"Caesar Must Die" is not the name of a "Spartacus" spin-off.(which I'm also not entirely ruling out by the way) Rather, it is a riveting production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," which is about power and betrayal, performed by a group of convicted criminals in a maximum security prison in Italy.(Of those we meet in the auditions, only a couple are not in their 40's, thus implying these are lifers in more than one sense.) This is not just a filmed stunt, as the claustrophobic environs of the prison are woven seamlessly and subtly into the performance itself, filmed in black and white. Ostensibly, these are just rehearsals which end up taking on a life of their own, as work on the theatre continues. Otherwise, the only segments in color are the play's ending and its triumphant aftermath. As much as the convicts put into the play via their unique interpretations, it could also be said that they get an equal amount out of the experience, as one comments at the end of the movie that after realizing that there is such high art, his imprisonment has become that much harder to bear.
December 25, 2013
Julius "Counselor".

Kinda grasping for what to say about this slim 76-minute take on Shakespeare's timeless tragedy (one of my personal favorites) by celebrated Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, which here uses the conceit of having the performance workshopped by federal inmates. A sparsely developed, grimly neo-realist pseudo-documentary (though not without its often bleak beauty and impressive camerawork), "Caesar Must Die" has all the ambition of a high school stage reading, yet it manages to peer deeper into the incarcerated mindsets of cellmates doomed by society to play the part of prisoner, in the film's singularly cruel and ironic twist of fate.

This theme isn't always handled in the most subtle of ways -- a final sequence has a detainee blatantly addressing the camera to extol his poetic plight -- but for the most part "Caesar Must Die" is a deeply cutting satirization of the Roman penal system, and still yet one which doesn't skimp on the human toll that goes into keeping up appearances. (73/100)
August 2, 2014
Mesclando a ficção com o documentário (o que o aproxima do grande "Jogo de Cena", de Eduardo Coutinho), "César Deve Morrer" é uma brilhante e evocativa celebração ao poder redentor e transcendental da Arte, a qual, a despeito das segregações sócio-acadêmicas, revela-se muito mais próxima de nossas vidas do que antes imaginávamos.
Nesse caso, a obra de Shakespeare consegue ressoar de forma tão profunda na trajetória pessoal de cada um dos presidiários protagonistas, que estes, ao incorporarem os dramas e personagens de "Júlio César", encontram na peça uma via única de expressão, redenção e liberdade para suas almas marcadas pelo cativeiro (externo e interno). Desse modo, conferimos um interessante exemplo do poder transformador que a Arte exerce não só sobre diferentes histórias e realidades, mas também sobre ela mesma, haja vista as novas nuances e leituras que a própria peça de Shakespeare ganha ao longo dessa experiência no presídio - e tal dicotomia entre a independência espaço-temporal e a necessária relação da Arte com seus receptores físicos não deixa de ser outro fascinante objeto de observação.
Filmado em um evocativo preto e branco que culmina nas cores do clímax da apresentação final, "César Deve Morrer" nos presenteia com belíssimas e inspiradas passagens, sustentadas pelo uso inventivo do espaço presidiário e pela força das atuações do elenco principal (com destaque para Salvatore Striano, com seu atormentado Brutus). E se os momentos "verídicos" da projeção soam artificiais ou fracos, isso só demonstra o enorme (e mais expressivo) espaço que a Arte acabou ocupando na vida dessas pessoas - e, porque não, na vida dos expectadores.
February 9, 2013
You must like Shakespeare in order to enjoy this movie as the inmates act out the entire play. I thought the acting of the main character (Brutus) was excellent, the cinematography was great, and the ideas of freedom inside the prison, art created by criminals and how it affects them, the relationship between the strong emotions of the characters in the play vs those in reality and the play itself which is still relevant to this day made it very interesting, thought provoking and beautiful!
February 21, 2014
The Shakespeare's Julius Caesar represented by the inmates in a prison. A combination of documentary, theater and movie where the line between fiction and reality is not well defined but ambiguous and left to the viewer's interpretation.
December 29, 2013
Only if I had seen this with my HS reading of Julius Caesar! The black n white segment is much more interesting and intense than the color post-kill. The scene between Decius and Caesar in the prison cell is arrestingly powerful and rightfully cast! The Oz-like bearfest is also a nice touch as well!!
July 17, 2013
the whole idea of prisoners re-enacting the play sounded good but i was disappointed.
June 21, 2013
the idea itself is extreamly interesting so is the story while the acting does its magic on you, its a work of art...
March 30, 2013
Strong film. A good allegory about the life in a jail. Acted by true criminals. Beautiful cinematography.
March 4, 2013
With a sombre sting in its tail, Caesar Must Die is an exploration into the many parallels that exist in society. Carefully directed, it not only pays tribute to a magnificent play, but presents the notions of art, freedom and expression with great weight and depth.
March 3, 2013
A arte pode ser algo além do escapismo, pode ser redenção, segundo este ótimo semi-documentário italiano.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

February 25, 2013
"Caesar Must Die" is not the name of a "Spartacus" spin-off.(which I'm also not entirely ruling out by the way) Rather, it is a riveting production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," which is about power and betrayal, performed by a group of convicted criminals in a maximum security prison in Italy.(Of those we meet in the auditions, only a couple are not in their 40's, thus implying these are lifers in more than one sense.) This is not just a filmed stunt, as the claustrophobic environs of the prison are woven seamlessly and subtly into the performance itself, filmed in black and white. Ostensibly, these are just rehearsals which end up taking on a life of their own, as work on the theatre continues. Otherwise, the only segments in color are the play's ending and its triumphant aftermath. As much as the convicts put into the play via their unique interpretations, it could also be said that they get an equal amount out of the experience, as one comments at the end of the movie that after realizing that there is such high art, his imprisonment has become that much harder to bear.
February 12, 2013
By setting the story in a Italian prison, this film highlights the more fraternal themes of Shakespeare's play.
Michael H.
February 3, 2013
Quite a remarkable movie which combines narrative and documentary elements as well as B&W and color photography all carefully and effectively designed for effect. Rehearsals are creatively staged in prison settings yielding varied and compelling imagery. The performances are quite accomplished; powerful and moving. Themes emerge naturally without seeming to be forced upon the audience. Well done!
February 5, 2013
mus b a hell of a movie
February 4, 2013
una meraviglia! uno dei migliori film italiani degli ultimi anni.
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