379. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

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8.2 Happy and interesting
  • Acting 8.3
  • Directing 8.1
  • Story 8.3
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini

Director: Roberto Benigni

Running Time: 116 mins


Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella) is an Italian film about a Jewish man who, after a wonderful romance with a young woman, is sent to a Nazi concentration camp along with his young son, whom he must protect from the horrors of the death camp by making the whole experience a game.

This film had so many fantastic and interesting aspects to it. It was a very enjoyable watch throughout because of its comedic tone, however, while also being so entertaining, it was a fascinating, ultimately tragic and gripping story about how the bad things in life cannot seem so bad.

The first part of the film, in which the relationship between the man and his wife-to-be is established in a very bizarre, yet happy way, was indeed really good fun to watch, due to completely farcical dialogue, mad characters, namely the loveable and clumsy main man and an overall very cheery atmosphere and outlook on things.

The comedy in this film was very funny throughout. Bringing together the insanely mad qualities of the main character, and a seemingly very fun-loving world made the comedy all the more enjoyable and easy to laugh at.

However, the second part of the film, in which the son is introduced in being taken to a concentration camp towards the end of the war, was worldly different from what had been previously set.

Of course, it was still ‘nice’ to watch, with the man’s way of turning the horrible world of the camp into a game to protect his son: a very influential and uplifting act, however it was overall tragic and often very draining to watch these completely innocent people be treated in this terrible way.

It was interesting to see the life of a prisoner from a more light-hearted side of things, but that quality did make it often difficult to really get into the sadder story emotionally, as it was nearly impossible to convert from a funny world to a horrific world in a matter of seconds.

Overall, I’ll give this an 8.2, because of its original take on the concept of life (bit vague), its hugely interesting story and great atmosphere.

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The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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