Days

Ladymol's Review

Well, thatíll teach me to believe anyone elseís reviews. I quote:

Days is an absorbing, uplifting drama about the vulnerability of life and the incredible power of love

SoÖ I was watching the other version, was I?

Claudio is HIV+. He is in a long-term relationship with Dario and they are in the process of moving from Rome to Milan. Dario goes first; Claudio is left to pack up the house and follow. One night he meets a waiter and has a fling with him. Andrea knows Claudio is sick and doesnít seem to care. They have unprotected sex. In reviews, Andrea is supposed to have this great love of life. Heís supposed to bring Claudio out of his repressed shell. Not in the version I saw. Andrea is melancholy, sad for Claudio and sad for the sacrifice he seems to know he is making.

Claudioís HIV status is wonderfully portrayed: the pills that keep him rigidly tied to alarms and bottles and routine. The acting is superb. However, the central premise that Andrea is willing to sacrifice his life for Claudio by ignoring his illness just doesnít ring true to me. They have one wonderful weekend at a beach house, where you can see the love shine through, but the story is too confused with Claudioís sister (what is that all about), his mother and Dario to give enough time develop Andreaís love for Claudio.

If this film is meant to be uplifting then Iím at a loss.

I feel utterly deflated watching it. There are great kisses, I donít deny that and one scene where their irresistible passion for each other does come over, but the rest is very ďFrenchĒ (and given that this is an Italian movie thatís quite odd) in that itís very talk take without enough action.

Well worth seeing, but not up lifting! If you go into it believing the reviews youíll be sadly disappointed.


Cerisaye's Review

I loved this movieÖuntil the end.† I wanted to go back and see if Iíd missed hints about the direction it was going.† Except right then I was too hurt and angry to want to sit through it.†

Claudio is a banker, with a boyfriend, Dario.† Theyíve been together for years, settled, committed, predictable.† Both are good looking guys. Itís an open relationship, at least on Claudioís side. They appear to have it all.† This is an Italian film, so the men are sleek and stylish, a bit vain, innately sexy, confident and charming.†

But Claudio is HIV+.† Heís on intensive therapy and a heavy drugs regimen.† Lover Dario is negative though, theyíre always safe.† Claudio is careful about every aspect of his life, very much in control.† Heís all buttoned upÖboringÖnot easy to like, with his nose in the air and a superior attitude, remoteness thatís either reserve or fear of being vulnerable.† Heís 35 and has had the virus for 10 years, a long time under threat of death, denied normal life.†

Claudio has a casual encounter crammed in the back of a car with a gorgeous waiter called Andrea (a boy despite the name), shown over the opening credits, nothing explicit but intensely erotic, really hot.† Claudio canít forget how it felt- spontaneous, carefree, like he doesnít have this thing inside him† Heís meant to be moving soon to Milan with Dario.† Now Claudio the anally retentive control freak is confused, moody and unhappy.†

Claudio wants Andrea, with a passion it doesnít look like heís ever felt before.† Thomas Trabacchi is amazing in the way he portrays Claudioís emotions.† There are some rather nice scenes of them together to establish the urgency of their need, though donít get too excited, as the cameras pull away just when it gets interesting.† What we get is very erotic.

Wait a momentÖno condom?† No problem, says Andrea.† Carry on.† It doesnít matter.† Iím aware younger men not of the generation devastated by AIDS are often reluctant to practice safe sex, while those whoíve watched friends & lovers die are evangelical in promoting it.† So what should Claudio do?† Tell Andrea donít be stupid, itís not worth it.† Plenty of non-risky things we can do.† Does he?† Of course not, though he hesitates because he knows itís wrong.† Weíve seen him at the hospital and taking a box-load of tablets every day.† Living with HIV isnít easy.† Drugs and therapies arenít a cure.† Itís something they canít afford to ignore.

Theyíre in love and to hang with the consequences?† Iresponsible.† Crazy.† Iíve sat through it twice and I still donít understand their motivations.† I know some young gay men do actively seek infection, itís an issue covered last year on QAF.† But this film doesnít justify what Andrea does to my satisfaction.†† Because he risks infection not out of some fatalism but simply to make Claudio feel good, an act of self-sacrificial devotion thatís contrived and unbelievable.† Or that Claudio would allow this man he loves to do it, even in the heat of the moment.† Poor Dario gets dismissed rather off-handedly as well, though he takes it surprisingly well.† Superior Claudio doesnít emerge from this well.† Just when we thought he was going to become human, like his sister.

Particularly hard to swallow is the eventual outcome that takes a beautiful romance and serves up a conclusion I found totally unnecessary and wilfully bleak.† I donít need a happy ending but I expect something supported by whatís gone before.† And the way itís done really upset me.†

To look at the sexy cover youíd think this was a happy romantic comedy.† Donít be misled.† Despite all this carping I still say watch the movie, because the gay relationship is shown so beautifully, with real male passion and lovely details, like Claudio & Andrea wearing the same sweater.† The actors almost make you forget the weaknesses of the story so brilliantly do they convince in their roles.† But I hated the ending.† (Italian with English subtitles.)