Life is Beautiful (1990)

So I started this blog yesterday in a desperate attempt to feel like I’m doing something with my life, and at the time it did the job! But when I woke up this morning it somewhat dawned on me that I just talk shit. I guess I can’t say it’s completely against my favour since I still have real life humans to converse with. Would this really work in blog formation? Because this is just me talking to myself, nothing to work off of. Is my dream of one day taking over the Plymouth Herald and actually reporting some fucking news still achievable if I’m sat alone just silently screaming at myself?

Yeah, probably.

But I think it would also be a waste of my 3 years at University to not talk about film is some way, and so that’s what this blog is also going to be about. I am going to review films. To start with I’m just going to review the films that I want because nobody is paying me to do otherwise (if you would like to change that, please send me a message at freyabeavis@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can be bothered).

So, let’s start with something a bit fancy and bring on dem subtitles!

La Vita E Bella/Life is Beautiful (1990) was the first foreign film that not only I saw, but loved. It catapulted me into a good mood that still remains upon that first viewing. This little number is the baby of Roberto Benigni who co-wrote, directed, and starred in the film, he pretty much took on the same roles that Tommy Wiseau did for the room except he did it well.

Boungiorno Principessa!

As our protagonist, Benigni plays Guido: a waiter from the 1930’s with a quick wit and an infectious sense of humour and appreciation of life. When Guido manages to win the heart of the woman he loves, his reward is doubled when she also gives him a son. Everything is perfect until one day get taken an imprisoned in a German concentration camp, and he has to protect his family the only way he knows how – with his imagination. It’s just so! God! Damn! Good!!! *Punches a bee*

I was baffled at how such a dark themed film could be so funny without taking the piss and it perfectly summed up the theme of the story – finding the beauty in places where none seems to exist.  If I ever got round to making films then this is the type of film I would like to make. Not even these types of film, just this film. I’m going to make thousands of films by the time I’m 80 and they’re all going to be this film!  It just the perfect balance between humour and heart, a motif which earned Charlie Chaplin his cinematic status.

You’re never left bored because every small detail links into one another and, because the script is so cleverly constructed , it makes it fast paced and adds to the comedy. And it annoys me that I can’t go into too much detail about it. I mean I can because I do what I want, but I don’t want to as well because I want you to go see it for yourself and then join me in a weeping mess on the floor. (If you would like to pay me for such services please contact me at freyabeavis@gmail.com).

The character is charming, full of life, and just a bit nuts really. Which, is what Benigni himself is like, with emphasise on the NUTS! Go onto Youtube and watch his Oscar win for this film and tell me that is a sane human being! And tell me you don’t wish you could be as free and as wonderful as him!

He’s also on the Graham Norton show which is on Youtube as well. If you weren’t interested in him before, you will be afterwards. He’s just divine!

He reminds me of a slightly unstable Lee Mack, energy wise.

The only fault I can find with the film…

“BOOOOOO!!!!!!”

..yeah ok, keep your nipples on! All that I wanted to say is that I’m sceptical the film is an accurate representation of life in the Holocaust, that’s all – but I feel I can let that go because that wasn’t the point of the story. It was about a man trying to protect his family simply with the use of his imagination. Because of his charm, genius and perseverance, he gets what he wants; again I desperately want to tell you what he gets but I’m too busy downing in my tears. All you have to know is that he works hard for what he wants, and he gets it. Even though it comes at a price OH GOD IT’S JUST SO WONDERFUL!!! And it is precisely because of this man’s good heart that makes the consequences all the more bitter. Also, if I had a hat I would tip it off to Nicola Piovani, who created the score to ‘Life Is Beautiful’, for inducing the emotional impact with a melody that makes your heart ache.

I don’t think my heart can take much more so I’m just going to leave that there. I give it 11/10 and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. If you’re not put off by the thought of subtitles then give it a go.