Directed by Gabriele Salvatores
Reviewed by Adam, added on Jan 1 2005
Recently, I was lucky enough to attend an international film festival here in my town, where I saw three wonderful films. The first I'll be reviewing is "I'm Not Scared," based on a novel by Italian writer Niccoló Ammaniti. "I'm Not Scared" is the story of a young boy named Michele, living in a rural area of southern Italy. One day, Michele stumbles upon an underground prison of sorts, in which a little boy named Filippo is being held against his will. Little does Michele know that his own parents, as well as several others from his tiny little village, have kidnapped little Filippo, hoping to obtain a ransom from his wealthy parents. Unbeknownst (I love that word) to these adults, Michele aids Filippo, bringing him food and water; and ultimately, the two become friends. Unfortunately, like so many things in life, Michele's time with Filippo is discovered, and everything goes down hill fast.
The plot of "I'm Not Scared" is less important than the way in which it is told. We see the world of this film through Michele's eyes - through the looking glass of childhood innocence. Michele never comes to fully understand what his parents are involved in; unlike so many hype-intelligent Hollywood children, Michele remains a wide-eyed youth throughout. The world seems that much brighter; the colors are that much more intense, with a surreal veneer. The story doesn't move along at a quick, MTV-inspired pace, like so many Hollywood movies these days; instead, it takes its time, never rushing ahead - lingering, slowly but surely, just like the long summer days of our youth.
Can you tell that I loved this film?
I had but one problem with this film, and that is the ending. I felt it wasn't much of a surprise, and felt a little stiff. The audience is able to second-guess the film at this point, and that's just too damn bad. All and all, it adds up to but one tiny mistake, in an otherwise beautifully-made masterpiece of Italian cinema. The film is already available in the States on DVD; I'll be picking up a copy for myself very soon. I suggest you do the same, and soon.