Anni da Cane, review of the first Italian comedy Amazon Original

Anni da Cane, review of the first Italian comedy Amazon Original

Anni da Cane

How many of us, at a young age, had to face adolescent problems that, in reality, took root only inside our heads and our subconscious? Probably everyone, some more and some less and the same goes for the protagonist of the film we will talk about today: Anni da cane, the brand new young-adult comedy with a slightly dramatic tone, produced by Amazon Prime Video and available on the platform since last 22 October.

Directed by Fabio Mollo (The father of Italy) and written by the newcomers Mary Stella Brugiati and Alessandro Bosi, Anni da cane is characterized by a cast of very young promises of the Italian cinema scene: the protagonist is in fact Aurora Giovinazzo that we will find in Gabriele Mainetti's Freaks Out, out in cinemas on October 28, who plays Stella, accompanied by colleagues Federico Cesari, Isabella Mottinelli, Luca Vannuccini, flanked by well-known faces such as Sabrina Impacciatore and Valerio Mastrandrea and, without making too many spoilers , a particular appearance of Achille Lauro, as well as composer of “Io e te”, the main song of the film's soundtrack.

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Stella's "Dog Years"

The events narrated take place in beautiful Rome and the protagonist is Stella (Aurora Giovinazzo), a young student of almost 16 who, due to her adolescent tribulations, accentuated by a family trauma, decides to start counting her years as you do with those of dogs, convincing herself that she has little time left to live, being close to 16 years of age. So, supported and seconded by her two friends Nina (Isabella Mottinelli) and Giulio (Luca Vannuccini), she draws up a list that includes all the experiences she intends to live before her life ends, finding herself chasing her dreams in a frenetic way, hurrying times and situations and risking being completely absorbed by his adolescent paranoia.

However, ticking off all the items on the list will not be easy at all: Stella, in fact, will find herself having to deal with the unexpected encounter with a shy and very different guy who will make her change the way to face situations and related problems, from personal to family ones, up to the point of improving the relationship with his friends.

“A dog that bites its own tail”

Starting from the points in favor of the film, we can say that the protagonist's discomfort is represented as if it were a colorful fairy tale: Anni da cane, in fact is a full-fledged young-adult comedy to which, however, dramatic and LGBTQ elements have been added. At this point in favor are also linked the very distinct acting skills of the protagonists who, despite the lackluster script, manage to enter the role of their characters in a natural and almost empathic way, giving the viewer the impression that the issues addressed really belong to the psyche of the actors.

Anni da cane is the first all-Italian Amazon Original production and in fact the excellent representation of Rome, the city where the events take place, deserves a mention, with locations properly exploited in the significant moments of the film , without however falling into banality, showing only some glimpses of iconic places in the capital. Also noteworthy is the photography, dynamic at the right point and in line with the direction which, with its particularity, offers upside-down and bizarre shots and which contrasts well between the "traditional" shooting scenes and the dreamlike ones of the protagonist, who in some sequences relate directly to the viewer through the demolition of the fourth wall, a feature that performs particularly well in this type of product.

Finally, a good choice of soundtracks: the genre that perfectly intersects with the mood of the film and makes it a perfect outline is right, even if the pieces are not properly linked to the narrated story, excluding the composed piece and specially interpreted by Achille Lauro “Me and you”.

But if so far we have talked about the positive characteristics of Anni da cane, we cannot fail to mention the critical points which, although not numerous, are crucial for the final result of the product: as far as the history and the concept general may be original are sensationally damaged by a plot that turns around on itself, without going in a specific direction, to stay on the subject, like a dog biting its tail. As much as the director's innovative idea stands out, who tried to balance everything with his touch, the issues addressed are not deepened enough.

The main themes of Anni da cane, in fact, are easily understood already in the first act of the film but, unfortunately, they are analyzed in a too superficial way, without going too deep, despite being topics that, taken individually, they deserve more complex reflections. All this transforms the product from a particular and original production to a sort of 3 Meters Above the Sky aimed at the TikTok generation, or rather, the generation of young adults of today who grow up, perhaps prematurely, to the sound of Trap-music and Social Media.

Along the lines of the films with adolescent problems proposed by rival platforms, Anni da cane fails, however, to raise complex reflections, as it is told in an unconvincing way: the emotional disturbances of the protagonist are proposed as dogmas , without justifications for such disturbances being given to the viewer, who remains with almost Hamletic doubts until the end of the film. Finally, it should be noted that although the young actors have done their job well, the characters are written in a too stereotyped way, pointing out adolescent clichés that we would certainly have done without.

In short, Anni da cane would have had all the credentials to distinguish itself from classic children's films with light and dark themes, but the lack of impactful twists, the predictable ending and the lack of depth of topics covered throw him into the fray, along with many other products that deal with the usual trite and old adolescent themes, such as the rush to grow up, the first sexual experiences, the waste of time, feelings and friendships or the turbulent and tormented relationship with parents.


Despite everything, what we hope is that this is only the first of a long series of Italian productions that will go exclusively on the Amazon streaming platform. In this regard, we remind you that you can see Dog Years exclusively from 22 October on Amazon Prime Video and that, if you are not yet a subscriber, you can do it by following this link.

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