DI4RIES review: Coming-of-age drama with a sweet but predictable plot

DI4RIES follows the lives of the students of the Galileo Galilei middle school, where days go by among a thousand surprises, first crushes, first kisses, beautiful friendships – and quarrels between rivals. 

Story

Galileo Galilei Middle School’s principal announces that the school will close due to a lack of sufficient funds.

Hearing this news, the students of class 2D are dejected as they do not want to leave the school. 

These kids’ lives are followed over the next 15 weeks as they navigate to find a solution to this problem, along with other teenage stuff – crushes, friendships and rivalries. 

Initially, the kids are often at opposite ends and get into fights and arguments. But as time passes, various situations bring them together. 

A basketball competition with the other class, helping each other to get over their crushes, romantic advice and help in academics, all these instances unite 2D students into solidarity leading to beautiful friendships and a support system for all of them. 

In the end, there is one last challenge, which is to stop the school from closing down. They plan a sit-in as a form of protest in the hopes that they succeed. 

Performances

The direction of the show is done in a way that most performances seem genuine and relatable. 

Given that it is a show made around teenagers and targeted towards teenagers, the young actors do a fine job in portraying those young and conflicting emotions. The acting is not great but given the context and nature of the show, it does not feel too weird. 

The actor who plays Guilio, Liam Nicolosi, does a wonderful job. There is a certain responsibility when portraying a character with a learning disability, and Liam succeeds in leaving an impact.

Andrea Arru, who plays Pietro, does an adequate job with what he is given, but his character could have been written in a more vulnerable and real way. 

He is outshined by other supporting actors like Federica Franzellitti who plays Monica, and Pietro Sparvoli who plays Mirko, the quiet new boy. The two of them leave a lasting impression and even with some flaws, they come across as more raw and authentic. 

Positives

The series is well written as it follows the perspective of different characters in different episodes, with an added touch of the characters breaking the fourth wall on many occasions.

This explains the title of the show. The concept makes the series more relatable and adds depth to the characters. 

Breaking the fourth wall is tricky because it doesn’t always work but for DI4RIES it succeeds in what the series is trying to pull off. It allows the viewers to understand teenagers and their conflicting emotions, the things they say and the things they really feel. 

Despite its teenage cliches, DI4RIES covers other important themes as well like dyslexia, LGBTQ characters and family separation which are finely depicted without any exaggeration. 

The coming of age plot is used in a great way, and we see character development in many characters. 

Negatives

The plot is quite basic with nothing extraordinary taking place. DI4RIES is very predictable from start to finish and fails to hold the viewers’ interest.

The dialogues feel forced at times with the writers trying too hard to convey certain emotions.

The visuals and cinematography could have been better and stronger. Even though the series is set on an island in Italy, the scenic beauty felt like a passive background and should have been used more creatively to help the characters and the story. 

Verdict

DI4RIES is a heartwarming coming-of-age show. If you are looking for a light watch focusing on friendship, teenage chaotic phases, crushes and heartbreaks, it is a good series and is watch-worthy. 

Since it follows the lives of children in middle school, more mature and older audiences may find it very cliche, kiddish and predictable. 

All in all, DI4RIES is a good series about growing up, accepting your feelings, friendships and solidarity. 

Rating: 3.5/5


Also Read: DI4RIES ending explained: Does 2D save the school?