The story about a protagonist who suddenly discovers that he has a son is not new, many films have covered this and Scialla! (Take it Easy!) is now added to this collection. Directed by Francesco Bruni, the movie is about Bruno (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), a disillusioned teacher and writer who finds out that the student that he regularly tutors, Luca (Filippo Scicchitano) is actually his son. Luca is not interested in school, and although he doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t do drugs either, he’s willing to be a pusher to be cool and to establish himself. The task of educating and bringing Luca to his senses is entrusted to Bruno when his mum gets a job in Mali, Africa. So can a jaded, melancholic writer with a double-hernia knock some senses into a testosterone-filled, rough-on-the-exterior guy with a good heart? There are some peripheral characters in this movie as well, such as Tina (Barbora Bobulova), a retired porn actress who commissions Bruno to be the ghost-writer for her biography and “Il Poeta” (Vinicio Marchioni), an art-loving drug dealer who happens to be Bruno’s ex-student.
The movie has a huge potential, however, I find it gliding in the ‘beige’ zone throughout the movie except some emotional moments when Luca realises his folly. I would love to rate the movie higher, but I could only give it a ‘Pass’ mark. It’s by no means a bad movie, but somehow for me, it hasn’t managed to affect me either on an emotional level or on a mental level. Filippo Scicchitano is wonderful as Luca – a spunky teenager who wants to be cool and has no sense whatsoever about the real world. Fabrizio Bentivoglio also plays the brooding Bruno effectively – however it’s quite limited what you can do when you act disinterested for most of the movie.
Scialla! is the first movie that I selected for the 2012 Lavazza Italian Film Festival. A slow starter this year, perhaps the second movie would delight me more.