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ICFF 2018 Review: “Like a Cat on a Highway” (2017) ★★★★


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With so many comedies and family drama we watch nowadays, how many of them manage to get into our hearts? And how many of them teaches us something new, relevant or anything else that we can benefit from? “Like a Cat on a Highway” is a film that, right from the start, takes the viewer to a very uncomfortable ride, even though it’s mostly funny, but as you travel along with its characters you realize how true and important the film is, especially its concept which, in my opinion, must be seen by many.

Riccardo Milani’s film follows a wealthy man who happens to be a politician and a poor woman, both from two different societies dealing with their two children who are engaged. As both struggle not to lose sight of Alessio (Monica’s son) and Agnese (Giovanni’s daughter), the two develop a special bond from which they learn the value of life from two different angles.

Absolutely astonishing, funny and sad film at the same time, “Like a Cat on a Highway” captures the poor neighborhood of Rome where people from all over the world live in the extreme conditions of a housing project building that does not even have an elevator to offer. Alessio does not have much to offer to Agnese whose family never had problems with money, but there is something the young man is willing to preserve for Agnese  – his heart and love.

As the story unfolds we learn that Monica’s husband is on a long vacation, which we learn shortly after, in a prison, sent there for a murder. Giovanni analyzes the situation around, and provides an estimate to the officials in order to get some funding for dependent children. But when he sees Monica’s daily struggle, he realizes no matter what he does, it’s clearly not enough. However, as his friendship deepens with Monica, he becomes a part of the family learning that, despite Monica not having money, she has the most precious thing – her dignity and honesty which she would not trade for anything.

In conclusion, there is deep morality in the film and an educational concept. It strongly emphasizes the differences society has and how one part has everything to live life to the fullest, going to private beaches, while the other one can barely find an empty spot in a public beach where the car can hit you any time. From the leading actors Paola Cortollesi and Antonio Albanese, “Like a Cat on a Highway” turns into a really magical, cute and an important piece the North American viewers deserve to see across the provinces, which has one important message to deliver across the globe: certain stories deserve to live longer than just a cat on a highway, and for that, there is no need to run over someone but to see and feel the pain that’s so foreign to us but so close and familiar to others….

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