Sep 25, 2012

Movie Review: Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Directed by: Roberto Benigni
Written by: Roberto Benigni & Vincenzo Cerami

I could simple call this movie one of the bests ever made. Roberto Benigni created a film that can make you cry and laugh at the same time.

Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) tells about Jewish family tragedy during the WWII. Guido (Benigni) is a Jewish husband of Italian woman Dora. German army takes he and his little son (Giosue) to the Nazi camp. Learning about this Dora decides to follow them despite the fact that she's Italian and she can survive.

Probably this day was the last birthday of Giouse who does not understand why and where they are taken. To save his child Guido explains him that they are going to a camp for his birthday party and all the people out there are trying to make a surprise for him. But there is only one condition: he has to hide all the time to make the "surprise" work.
**End of Spoiler**

Generally, I like most of Italian films but Life is Beautiful is definitely masterpiece, best of the bests. This movie has everything a really good movie ought to have. I can't exactly decide whether La Vita e Bella is more a comedy or a drama, because it's full of real fun, tragedy and tears.

Roberto's performance is perfect. He is a funny and entertaining father and a prisoner with lots of personal tragedy and a pain at the same time. He delivers a clown and a victim characters in the same movie. Guido laughs and cries simultaneously, amuses his kid and grieves for his wife, tries to keep all difficulties away from Giosue and imposes himself with lots of trouble. I can't imagine more complex role for an actor and better performance by an actor. He definitely nailed it and claimed deserved Oscar for his role.

Nicola Piovani composed a beautiful soundtrack for this movie. I've never listened to a music so precisely expressing whole spirit of film.

Life is Beautiful is a great work by Roberto and Vincenzo, they have written an amazingly built screenplay. The story develops logically, simply, dynamically. Every single dialogue in the movie is unique and natural. I guess the movie is not about holocaust (like Schinlder's List), it's more about a man who loved his life, family and enjoyed making other people happy.

"This is my story. This is the sacrifice my father made. This was his gift to me."




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