A nurse works without hours and returns home devastated, physically and psychologically. This image is enough to bring the viewer back to the near past, that of the lockdown, of the masks, of the beds that are scarce in the intensive care unit, of the self-certifications and of the remote lessons. It is the context it proposes Bad boythe new film by Paul Ruffiniproduced together with Nicholas Nocella.
Hero Alessandro Bisignabrother of the “Bise” who makes up the duo of youtubers Matt & Bise, in the role of the curly-haired Mattia, a difficult boy defined as «the perfect mix between Achille Lauro and Marilyn Manson». Cell phone addict, unable to converse in a civilized manner, rejected twice, he is the idol of his friends because, at their request, he clowns with the teachers, alternating a burp with continuous vulgar jokes in the video lessons. Not only that, he insults teachers and police officers and ends up bullying even a disabled classmate. As a “bully” he goes viral, ends up in all the newspapers and social networks, his reputation as a “bad boy” risks remaining on him like an ineliminable branding.
It doesn’t help the character played by Sabrina Impacciatore, a neurotic and frustrated mother, prone to ferocious screaming and violent punishment. She is a frustrated woman, exhausted by the anxiety of not being able to leave the house during the lockdown and even more by the concern of not being able to make ends meet. She’s also a misinformed woman, he spares no xenophobic and right-wing jokes and is convinced that the coronavirus is just a flu.
To appease spirits, in his fleeting presence, a father exhausted by unsustainable work shifts tries: and Massimo Ghini in the most moving character of the film, the nurse mentioned above, taken by surprise like everyone at the fatal arrival of the first wave of covid-19. He is not the only positive character, in a moral sense, in the film: there is Professor Roncucci played by Beppe FiorelloItalian literature substitute teacher who is committed to making her students passionate about the Betrothed.
One step away from The fleeting momentis the only one who reveals himself capable of scratching the crystal ceiling of incommunicability under which the ex-child Mattia lives. With the professor the bully slowly opens up, apologizes, ends up understanding some dynamics, to discover the passion for poetry and to face ghosts and ghosts of the past. The loss of his beloved grandmother mirrors the fresh loss of his wife by the recently widowed professor.
In front of a screen, over a beer, the two talk about everything, from Manzoni to love. These are the most interesting scenes in the film: the confrontation between professor and student is an opportunity to stage a generational confrontation between a generation Z boy and a boomer, with the use of different languages and slang, until we understand that the the need to be understood and loved is the same, because as Professor Roncucci says “life exchanges, like the collection of stickers”.
The video lessons are a useful expedient to tell, in flashes, the friendship relationships 2.0, which are consummated strictly via technology, between audio messages and video chats, between a “bro” and a “hook”, to confide anxieties and first loves. It’s not just a movie about bullying “bad boys”, is a film that shows how to create a healthy environment around the figure of the bully putting understanding before punishment, inclusion before finger pointing, can really end up changing things and leading to personal growth.
Then there are models of respectable boys, scholars, political enthusiasts, determined to change the surrounding world in the first person. It is the case of Jenny DeNucci as the student representative, a sensitive and determined girl, able to grasp the essence of a good boy behind the mask of a bully. Why, she seems to mean Paul Ruffini in this new direction after the previous works Lost Mind and Up & Down, the most contagious thing in the world is still love.