Annie Da Cane, or Dog Years, is a story that revolves around a to-be-16-year-old Stella, who believes that each dog year is equal to 7 human years, thereby significantly reducing her time on earth. This makes her want to catapult into life with full gusto and passion, with a set of goals that she absolutely must achieve as a matter of life and death. Her friends are faithful allies, who help her see matters to the requisite ‘end,’ whatever her future requires it to be.
Amazon Studios brings forth an Italian debut film produced by Notorious Pictures, showing how this teenager’s life unfolds through various extreme events based on a borderline psychotic belief that the world one day won’t exist and that death is a cruel but necessary friend.
‘Dog Years’ Plot Summary
Screenwriters Mary Stella Brugiati and Alessandro Bosi bring this interesting story to life, depicting the world of a character named Stella, a close-to-16-year-old, who is clumsy, cynical, imaginative, and tormented teenage girl. In this world, we are introduced to a certain belief that seems rather strange but makes absolutely perfect sense to her- her life will end on the day she turns 16. It is not the birth of a new year of turning 17. Rather, it is the end: the end of life as she knows it. But of course, it’s not.
Nevertheless, she champions this belief by spreading her wings of thought on her best friend, Nina, a typical teenager, although she fully supports her friend’s outlandish ideas. Nina rallies along with Stella and is her emotional rock in many ways, and Stella knows this quite well. The story also introduces Stella’s family, a mother who is a tarot aficionado and a sister, who acts her age for the remainder of the film. Stella has her good and bad days, but in this film, we shall see her point of view, a roller coaster of what no 16-year-old can imagine doing.
They say that the brain, while a mystery to doctors today, still is the main supervisor of the physical body and can run astray when beliefs run deep. Stella experiences breathlessness when she sees visions of her’ end’, a probable manifestation of her psychosis, responsible for drastic reactions that the body experiences in a given moment. While she periodically sees this, her immediate distraction is when she starts creating goals for herself, after meeting a gay, pink-haired boy named Giulio, a DJ of the resident school’s Mean Girls’ Marta and Federica’s party. At the same party, Stella is cosplaying as the Amazonian Royal Flycatcher (A big bird of fluff) and bumps into Matte, who cosplays as a Sea-cow. Later, as Giulio becomes good friends with Stella and Nina, Matte becomes an important part of Stella’s life. She slowly starts falling for him while also trying to achieve everything on her checklist.
Director Fabio Mollo follows a non-linear timeline, helping the story unfold first with incredible dramatic events. Stella starts displaying her teen urges to kiss random boys to make Matte jealous after Matte breaks up with his previous girlfriend. The audience finally realizes that after a severe accident, a dog that was hit by the car she was in, almost lost its leg and that this same dog, Piedino, could never walk again. She immediately puts herself in his shoes, and suddenly, life becomes clear as a crystal. On the day she turns 16, everything changes.
If we lived with this perspective, we would see that different things would take priority in our lives. The makers of this film insist on a level of tenderness and sensitivity, most of all, inclusivity, something severely lacking in our forward progressing lives. This film tackles a sensitive child in a cruel world, but a world that is willing to listen, help and nurture, supplying hope to a future generation.
Fabio Mollo, along with writers Mary Stella Brugiati and Alessandro Bosi, supply a warm hug to your heart and leave you yearning for more, especially when the dog takes hold of the camera frame, melting any viewer’s heart that is an animal admirer. Captured beautifully, this is a film that shall set a whole new standard for Italian new age cinema.
Dog Years (Anni Da Cane) 2021 is an Italian-based comedy directed by Fabio Mollo. This film is an Amazon Original Production with Notorious Productions, currently streaming on Amazon Prime.