Caesar Must Die is a movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It is set in a prison. The movie is part documentary and part adaptation of the play. The actors are prisoners in an Italian maximum security penitentiary and the movie shows how they bring a new sense of authenticity to their roles.
Part of the movie shows the actual prison production of Julius Caesar that was staged for the general public. This is how viewers meet Brutus in the climactic death scene. Then it suddenly shifts and viewers are taken back to the prison during the auditions for the play. Then it shows the members during their rehearsals. At this point, the movie is rendered in black and white.
The vital scenes are rehearsed in strategic locations. A room with window that overlooks the courtyard becomes the place where Cassius and Brutus plan on killing Caesar. The voices outside the room serve as the Roman crowd that offers a crown to the great general. The walled exercise becomes the location of the assassination.
The movie features the prisoners but no much is showed about their personal life that could have added more texture to the documentary. The men are convicted of heavy crimes, including drug trafficking and murder, and yet their humanity exudes in the movie.
The prison setting of Caesar Must Die is tough and yet the movie is beautiful. The camera zooms into the characters and shows their rough-shaven flaws. Salvatore Striano plays Brutus and he stands out from the rest of the cast. There is sadness in her eyes and his real-life story is truly inspiring.
Caesar Must Die reminds viewers that art is not connected to morality. The play gives those involved in it the spark to dream. It also leaves a hole in them when they are not doing it.