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Don't Tell (Unrated)

Release Date: March 17th, 2006 (Landmark Sunshine Cinemas) by Lionsgate Films.
The Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Alessio Boni, Stefania Rocca, Angela Finocchiaro, Giuseppe Battiston, Luigi Lo Cascio.
Directed by Cristina Comencini.
In Italian with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Sabina (Mezzogiomo) comes to terms with her troubled childhood.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Don’t Tell often feels, unintentionally, like a melodramatic soap opera with a plot that doesn’t have enough real tension. The performances are quite good, including Giovanna Mezzogiomo as Sabina and Angela Finocchiaro as Maria, her older girlfriend who has a secret romantic relationship with Emilia (Rocca). Sabina’s memories of sexual abuse during her childhood affect her relationship with Franco (Boni). So, she travels abroad to see her brother Daniele (Lo Cascio) who helps her remember the details. The by-the-numbers plot has no surprises and the standard script doesn’t help to add anything worth mentioning. Director Cristina Comencini does her best to create the feeling of tension through the musical score, but the tension doesn’t build enough because there’s not enough mystery. Even the flashback scenes of the abuse seem too obvious and including them over and over as Sabina recalls them feels redundant. At least the actresses keep you mildly entertained and make a few scenes believable. But without a realistic, engaging script, it’s difficult to truly care about any of their troubles.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Everyone’s past comes back to haunt them at some point in their life. In such instances when childhood memories are painful to recall, it takes maturity and inner strength to get over them and move on with one’s life. Sabina does her best to cope, but fixates on her childhood abuse, the more she gets depressed. However, she has a cathartic moment when she poignantly shares her feelings with her brother who was also abused.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Formulaic, predictable plot.


IN A NUTSHELL: Well-acted, but the weak, over-melodramatic plot has no real surprises.


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