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Rattaggi is the protagonist villain in Maetion Surgé's 2017 independent film "Day Break Settles or How to Embrace Insanity ". He is portrayed by Surgé himself, who also wrote the film. It has been said the character was designed so that different viewers could come away from the film with different views on him.

Character Analysis

The idea was that he is not totally good or totally evil, but somewhere between the two. Rattaggi performs both good and bad actions, but both feel like they belong in his character logic. For example, Rattaggi cares deeply for his housemate, Cain but lies to him in order to have him continue doing work, seemingly out of desperation. When Cain has to decide whether or not to kill Rattaggi after discovering the truth, he must take into account that Rattaggi has lied to him about the nature and profit of his work in order to manipulate him as well as the fact that Rattaggi has saved his life on a number of occasions.

Day Break Settles


The Drug Dealer

We begin the film with Rattaggi enjoying a video of a violin in slow motion as he listens to a recording of a small girl singing the hearse song.

Soon afterwards, we see Rattaggi and Perkins interact before Rattaggi finishes making a batch of cocaine for his partner in crime, Cain to give to Hugh, an interested customer. Rattaggi warns Cain that Hugh is dangerous, given the man's violent history. Cain agrees to head Rattaggi's warning and the topic is left.

Rattaggi hallucinates further and finds himself playing checkers with Hazaad, another imaginary friend of his. After winning the game, as he usually does, Rattaggi admits to feeling bored, before smothering Hazaad to death with a pillow.

He then allows Perkins to become his new, full-time imaginary friend. Later, Cain is approached by Ferand, an old business associate of Rattaggi's. Ferand offers Cain $3000 to kill Rattaggi. Cain reluctantly acknowledges the offer.

The Grey Unknown

Cain finds a letter from the university where Rattaggi used to study chemistry, before making drugs. The letter details the violent death of Rattaggi's former roommate, Randall Ashley. Rattaggi finds Cain and explains that Randall had gone insane after the death of his mother. Before he can respond, Cain is summoned to the park by Hugh.

Cain explains that there has been a delay in the production of the cocaine. Enraged, Hugh attacks Cain and tosses him to the ground, much to Cain's shock.

When the cocaine has been produced, Cain gives to Hugh. Unimpressed by its quality, Hugh attacks Cain again, this time Cain responds by striking Hugh over the head with a decorative rock. Rattaggi enters the room, angered and quickly pieces together the situation as the injured Hugh leaves. Rattaggi scolds Cain for his behaviour and storms off.

Rattaggi consults Perkins, who reminds him that he is not a man of reality or reason. Rattaggi expresses gratitude to Perkins, and leaves for the kitchen, calling for Cain to join him.

The Mad Guardian

Rattaggi tries to explain the seriousness of the situation to Cain, who is first arrogant and then fearful. Rattaggi is soon to devise a solution when Hugh arrives. Hugh, disgusted by the low-quality of the cocaine, demands a return of his money. Rattaggi tries to reason with Hugh by explaining that he has no money left to give him. Hugh threatens to call the police if his demands are not met, and so, Rattaggi attacks him with a piece of cloth, strangling him to death. Cain is then told to clean up the corpse, supposedly as punishment for his reckless behaviour.

The proceeding night, Rattaggi dreams about his past. We see that Rattaggi using his chemistry knowledge to make drugs was originally Ferand's idea before we see Randall Ashley. We see Rattaggi put his "son" to bed, before looking in a drawer and finding a toothbrush, supposedly stabbing Randall to death with it. Afterwards, Rattaggi dreams of being attacked by a hooded and masked figure, before being saved by Cain, who shoots the figure.

Whilst cleaning Hugh's body, Cain comes upon a gun and remembers Ferand's offer. After thinking on it, Cain finds Ferand and explains that he will not kill Rattaggi. Ferand attempts to explain why Rattaggi deserves to die, explaining that he is a liar and a murderer, Cain acknowledges these things and continues to stand by Rattaggi as a loyal, and flawed father figure to him. At his wits' end, Ferand pins Cain against a tree and threatens to kill Cain if he does not kill Rattaggi.

The Open Book

We end the film with Rattaggi describing his interest in the multi-verse theory, and his eagerness to "see what reality he's in". Rattaggi then turns to the window and finds Cain, who stares back, a gun in his hands.

With Rattaggi's fate left to the viewer's interpretation, we see Cain walking through a brightly coloured graveyard. Cain stops a moment, and says, "it's so peaceful", before placing five-dollar bill on the ground and walking on as the credits roll.