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Wednesday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9
The one thing you’re sure of about the characters in Days is that you probably wouldn’t want to be friends with them. Claudio is HIV-positive and cheating on his boyfriend, Dario, with baby-faced Andrea, who insists that they have unprotected sex even after he finds out Claudio’s status. And — surprise! — before long, Andrea’s got the sniffles.
Claudio’s rigidly structured life is exemplified by his constantly beeping meds reminder and his trips to the gym with self-serving friends who offer him little emotional support. Most of the cast seems fairly Teflon-hearted, even Andrea, who’s basically just enigmatic, and Dario, who appears only glumly resigned, rather than passionately pissed, with he learns of Claudio’s affair.
Days‘ best strength is its willingness to portray HIV-positive characters as real people with real flaws. Claudio is a jerk in many ways, and when his health begins to deteriorate, you feel ambivalent about his well being. His life is a vapid routine, and even with Andrea, he still often keeps up an impersonal wall.
The Italian urban and rural landscapes are captivating and real, and the cinematography and lighting — cold blue at the gym and hospital, inviting and warm in the country — are superb. Days may not be the feel-good movie of the year, but it does hold an unsettling mirror to our actions and decisions, reflecting the complexities of human behavior and interaction. — WD