Leonardo di Costanzo – The Inner Cage (2021, “Ariaferma“)
- An underground tension that gives the impression of being just about to explode.
- An inner investigation.
- Atmosphere is perfectly created through the staging.
- Different accents.
- For some (definitely not us) it may be a problem that the tension remains underground.
Do we recommend watching it?
Few words about the film.
The Inner Cage (“Ariaferma”) is a film whose balance is fully shifted to the side of the characters rather than based entirely on a dramatized chain of events. Although the plot is there and is easily found, the film finds its jeu in revealing traits and information about the characters and their human condition.
The film exploits a narrative device played in a minor key, without excessive dramatizations and this is probably the character that brings this film closest to a certain fully Italian school (which finds Rossellini as a reference figure), but also to a European master like Robert Bresson.
The Inner Cage does not promise realism and never even flows into its opposite, but it finds a rather unique point of balance. Each glance and shot is permeated by this suspended, waiting atmosphere: the underground tension is played on the spectator’s awareness that in such environments conflicts will sooner or later come to an explosion. But, if in many films, the conflicts are then resolved, in this film they serve to make people understand the distances between the groups and remain, essentially, unresolved.
In this prison the air is really still (the original title, Ariaferma, would be literally stranslated in Still Air), so still that it pushes the viewer to question himself internally about the characters and all this is perfectly helped by the very precise staging: there are very particular details of what life in prison means, such as the image of inmates slamming mattresses upon arriving in a new cell and performing a series of actions rarely seen in a film. This attitude not only shines a light on certain things that are generally cut out of films and scripts for the purpose of spectacularization, but it fully contributes to this dilated, stale, albeit electric atmosphere.
The Inner Cage is a film of passion, of mistakes made and attempts at redemption, of paths that could have been different, of closeness and distance, of compassion and coldness: a human film, of that humanity that finds itself when there seems to be no hope. Human, therefore, in its purest essence.
The quote at the beginning of this page reads like “Me and you have got nothing in common”, yet…
“Should I watch it, then?”
Well, you now know what we think about it but if you are still unsure about it, take a look at the trailer to decide for yourself whether to watch it or not.
Now, nothing left to do here, you just have to go and watch it or if you already did and have something to say about this movie, feel free to leave a comment at the end of the page and say whatever you like about the film. On this site, we are always happy to host others’ opinions on cinema and why not, open a debate if you don’t agree with us on this.
To read more of these film “pills”, please visit our dedicated section. Or, if you’re after a more-in-depth look at some films and/or filmmaking techniques more than just a few words, please have a look at our Film Analysis page.