“Life is [indeed] Beautiful”

La vita e bella

He didn’t care about what the restrictions were around the world. He saw beauty in life, especially happiness from his son, both standing in the concentration camps together. “Life is beautiful” in the sense where your loved one’s safety is protected. It’s Guido’s family that makes him want to see the light the next day. A mixture of will, humour, imagination, and survival are seen in Roberto Benigni’s hit 1997 academy award, La Vita è Bella, in other words, Life is beautiful.

It’s 1939, in Italy, shows the sweetheart Guido (Roberto Benigni) in a bitter crisis as he and his son, Joshua (Giorgio Cantarini) are sent to a concentration camp; with the wife, Dora (Nicoletta Braschi) who insists on being taken to the camps with her family. But in a venture shot, Guido takes his son through a ride of imagination, distracting the darkness the Nazi German forces bring to Italy in Life is Beautiful (aired November 6, 1998 [Canada]).

The film presented entertainment and various plot twists Benigni brought to the screen. It was insightful with its colourful cast and dramatic play. Benigni used humour in the characters as each brought something to the screen. Giorgio Cantarini, the actor of the little boy, seemed so real and heartbreaking to be put in this situation and this was a good aspect the director thought of, as he had characters go through the holocaust period and this gives you more humane feelings towards the film or characters themselves. Roberto Benigni’s role, Guido, was one character you could never hate.  The actor brought light into the story and didn’t care what situation he was in. What mattered to him, and what was reflected in the film’s theme,  was to live happy in your moment no matter the dangers of it, as he saw the beauty in life.

Something that needs to be heard for in the movie carefully, is belle nuit ô nuit d’amour, as it’s the beauty that enlightens the plot with the melody that captures peace in a violent harsh world; the mad mad world that only Guido’s family escape with the benevolent sound effect as it’s heard several times; like they do during the war in the camps; as it was an effective scene one wouldn’t risk missing.

On the contrary, Life is Beautiful takes awhile to get to the actual action of the movie in regarding the story around the son and father as the actor, Giorgio Cantarini, only truly appears halfway after the movie began. Some may feel confused as to what the movie has to do with the holocaust as the first good chunk was like a mini romance fairy tale until it gets to the main event. However, the editing and transitions inform us of very subtle clues before they grow bigger. Almost like a warning, warning us very few instances occur that may have some audiences decipher the foreshadowing which could be a benefit for the wait.

The cinematography and tone of the film can relate to another aspect of a historical drama film, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. As both films share moods and tones that are both evoked by the same theme it has, the holocaust. They also both share the anticipation of the characters as both innocence and commitment are shown by the characters both affected by the behaviour of the Nazi German Forces. However, what makes Life is Beautiful so different and entertaining from the tragic ending holocaust movies is how it’s a rare movie that succeeds to gain laughter from the audience even though the darkest holocaust moments there can be. The entertainment of the plot and how the editing was done with care in the first part of the movie, gives the realism in this holocaust dramedy as the story of the characters grows in Italy.

There are also parts in the movie that persuade you to live your life to your fullest and be keen to those around you, even in your toughest times. It convinces you as it has those ambitious characters there as a family, happy; even in the concentration camps. Because even though there were depressing things that happened in those camps, it had that one person, the person who thought with imagination, especially imagination to his son, who was beauty in life. Because if you could be like Guido, then you may even change someone’s life.

Overall,  Life is Beautiful is an unforgettable movie and fable, as it shows how one thing and just anything can simply change a whole lot of things, both good and bad. So try to be that change, the good change, in the beauty of life. It’s definitely a film worth the money in your pocket.


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