Sunday, 23 September 2018

Film Review: Boys Cry

A tragic, twisted Italian crime drama about two young men who lose their way, Boys Cry is an effective if harrowing film.

Mirko (Matteo Olivetti) and Manolo (Andrea Carpenzano) are two best friends living an aimless existence on the ugly outskirts of Rome. When they accidentally kill a small-time snitch by hitting him with their car, the boys decide to instead reap the rewards by owning up to the 'murder' to the local mobster clan. Welcomed as part of the gang, Mirko and Manolo are soon pimping out girls and offing rivals with thoughtless abandon – racking up a body count that takes its toll on their psyche.

Brotherly directorial duo Damiano D’Innocenzo and Fabio D’Innocenzo capture the grimy side of Rome's criminal underbelly with some restraint. The violence is cold and abrupt; death arrives in an instant in this story and isn't glamourised. In terms of acting talent, both Olivetti and Carpenzano deliver great performances that reflect the feelings of abject purposelessness and resentment they feel.

Boys Cry suffers because it struggles to give the audience a reason to engage with Mirko and Manolo. After the initial shock and sadness of killing someone with their car, the boys practically leap at the chance of working with the mob and getting their hands dirty.

But there isn't much fun to be had by the characters or the audience, as the two protagonists feel little remorse and become increasingly disturbed and disillusioned with their lot in life. The whole affair is very morbid and morose, as the duo bounce from one job to the next, spiralling ever further down the rabbit hole.

Of course, the suffocating emptiness and hopelessness of being bound by your social standing and bank balance is the object of the movie – to illustrate how Mirko and Manolo won't find happiness from killing, even though it brings them wealth. But they offer little in the way of redemption or redeeming qualities. Sympathy is in short supply.

The Verdict: 6/10

There's no doubt Boys Cry is an effective and suitably grimy crime drama – it's just up for debate whether audiences are going to gel with its approach and lingering feeling of dread.

Boys Cry will be screening in Perth as part of the 2018 Lavazza Italian Film Festival from September 27 to October 17. Visit for more information.

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