A young man suffers a severe case of depression in “Not With a Bang,” a carefully made first feature that covers no new ground but provides some mildly amusing satire at the expense of a bourgeois family living in a village near Mt. Vesuvius. Technical work is pro for this low-budgeter, but its commercial chances look slim on just about every level.
The problems of the protagonist (Mariano D’Amora) revolve around his seeming inability to study seriously for his law exams — in fact, he can hardly get out of bed in the morning, and moons around the house in pajamas to the annoyance of his lawyer father, distracted mother and flighty sister. D’Amora, who seems rather too old for the part, has trouble making his bored, ineffectual character interesting for audiences, and the result is a muted experience enlivened by moments of deft humor and the occasional flight of fancy. Title is derived from a T.S. Eliot quote.