Is Life Really Beautiful?

Is Life Really Beautiful?

Amanda Lopes Priosti, Author

The movie Life is Beautiful takes place in Italy during World War II and it illustrates how complicated the life of a Jewish family was during that period. Guido is a humble Jew who is charismatic and shares an optimistic view on life. Additionally, he falls in love with Dora, who has a beautiful son called Giosue. Together, they have to fight all prejudices and injustices in order to stay together. However, their happiness is lost when their whole family is forced into a concentration camp where they experience inhumane acts of cruelty. Nevertheless, Guido always tries to fantasize the situation in order to preserve the innocence of his little boy.

Roberto Benigni magically plays Guido, which led him to win an Oscar in 1998 for this role. He makes the audience feel empathetic towards the situation that his whole family is in, but throughout the movie he is always trying to make his son laugh during the horrible moments that they experience. Moreover, Giorgio Cantarini gives an extraordinary performance of Giosue, what intrigued me about this character is the innocence that he possesses and the fact that he doesn’t see any cruelty in the world.

Furthermore, Life is Beautiful has been highly criticised and it is viewed as a masterpiece by many critics. The movie critic Judith Egerton believes that “Benigni’s point is made with tender sensitivity, that a child’s innocence is worth protecting”. Additionally, critics Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat describe that this movie “shows how humor is a rich spiritual resource that enables us to cope with the unexpected and to smile through the unbearable”. Also, film critic Lael Loewenstein expresses that this movie “explores the power of laughter to lift the human spirit even in the face of extreme tragedy”.

My opinion about Life is Beautiful is that it is a sorrowful movie with a significant message. This movie made me realise the innocence of childhood because the little boy only sees positive things in the world. I think that the theme of this movie is to live life to its fullest because Guido is always bringing light into dark situations and he is doing everything he can to bring laughter into son’s face. Finally, Mahatma Gandhi once stated this meaningful quote that connects to the idea of this movie, which is “live as you were to die tomorrow. Learn as you were to life forever”.

Rating: A+