When it comes to a movie on World War II, you automatically expect a story that is full of action and suspense. What Roberto Bengini has created is a funny but deeply moving story called ‘Life is Beautiful.’ It’s a movie that you will never forget.
‘Life is Beautiful’ tells the story of Guido and his love for his family. The movie starts out with Guido meeting Dora on many occasions, all of which are a surprise to Dora. Then as the movie progresses Guido and Dora get married and have a son, who they call Joshua.
By now World War II has come and they are taken away to a concentration camp, where Guido protects Joshua from the truth of the war, pretending that it is all a game. The movie is finished off with Guido’s sacrifice for his family.
‘Life is Beautiful’ is a must see movie that will capture the hearts of all. The movie really does prove that love, family and imagination will conquer all…
Four Stars ****
Reviewed by Brendan Lyons
POSITIVE FILM REVIEW
It doesnt take long to discover that the movie Life is Beutiful was an amazing movie in so many peoples eyes though at the same time so many people did not appreciate the movie
“As I sit down to write the last paper of my undergraduate career, I am faced with a rather difficult task, for it is hard to write a paper dissecting a work who’s primary impact is emotional, and whose impact on me personally has been so strong. My first reaction to seeing Roberto Benigni’s moving film, Life is Beautiful, was that this film was the epitome of everything I love about movies: It is a work that transported me into another world and shed light on a certain deep truth, and it did this not with the communication of abstract ideas, but by involving me in this other world emotionally.
However, Benigni’s own task in making this film was much greater.* He took a tremendous risk, making a “comedy about the holocaust,” and the fact that he pulled it off so well, despite the expected controversy it has aroused in some, is downright miraculous. So what I would like to do is use this paper as an opportunity to explore the reasons that this film works so well for some and not for others, and I would like to do so using Heidegger’s conception of “the one” and “resolute action” and Kierkegaard’s “unconditional commitment” and “teleological suspension of the ethical”. I think these categories will allow us to understand the nature of the story told and discover why the film was so loved by some and almost unintelligible to others.
We can divide the film’s plot structure into two parts. The first half of Life is Beautiful is basically a slapstick comedy much like Benigni’s earlier films. It tells of two friends who move to “the city” (somewhere in Tuscany) and we follow Guido (played by Benigni) as he falls in love with a school teacher (played by Benigni’s real wife, Nicoletta Braschi.) The setting is pre World War II Italy, and the fascists are in rule, but the inconveniences that result from this are nothing more than a backdrop for Benigni’s gags. When he finally succeeds in wooing the school teacher and marrying her, the film jumps forward six years to 1944, when the war is going on full swing, and the racism shown toward Benigni, who was until then a fully integrated Jew, becomes more apparent. ”
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By Kathleen J. Mcpeak
“I watched this on a hotel pay-per-view TV while stranded by Hurricane Floyd and after the first half-hour I was thinking, “Grand Jury Prizewinner at Cannes?” How naked the Emperor is, and how often the self-appointed “critics” are too afraid to join the little boy in saying, “The Emperor has no clothes!” This film is at best boring and silly; at worst the most callus and offensive treatment of the subject of the extermination camps. “Funnyman” Benigni with his “rubberface” and his “humorous antics” spends the first half of the film reveling in his image of himself as a free-spirited soul undaunted by convention, using every slapstick cliche the public was bored to tears by generations ago (I kept waiting for him to rescue his “Princess” fron the railroad tracks). Unspeakably silly gags by this man who is so enraptured with himself he assumes everyone else is too…And now, let’s settle in and watch how delightful he is in convincing his young boy that life in the camps is a game! Hide the child in the barracks…I actually flinched, thinking of the women who stuffed infants into the sleeves of their coats before entering the “shower rooms” in an effort to save the babies. Benigni must know about all of this, so for him to have made a movie like this indicates either an idiot (maybe he’s not “playing” a character? Maybe this idiot is actually him?) or the most cynical use of the camps as a subject. Have any of you toured a camp? Dauchau, anyone? This film turned my stomach (in addition to being boring and stupid–I kept reminding myself that the French think Jerry Lewis is an incredibly wise actor–this is offensive beyond anything I’ve ever watched on the subject). There’s a film called “Playing for Time”, with Vanessa Redgrave, that I watched in Geneva years ago (called “L’Orchestre”)–You want to see a parent trying to keep a child alive in the camps? Watch this, and you’ll end up saying, as the Redgrave character did when someone told her it was imperative for her to live to witness to the world, “J’ai trop vue.” Moi, j’ai trop vue to keep from saying this entire film belonged on the cutting-room floor, or, better still, as an idea Benigni considered and discarded as a slap in the face to what the camp victims, and the camp survivors, endured. Six million thumbs down on this outrageous piece of trash.”
Taken from: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3BGB7UW6F26KJ