Life is Beautiful, by Roberto Benigni

Life is Beautiful, by Roberto Benigni

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“Life is Beautiful” is a movie that is characterized for its comedy in the entire first half, which is meticulously portrayed by Roberto Benigni. Roberto wrote and directed the movie by himself and successfully tells the story of a Jewish Italian. The struggle experienced by both son and father remains similar in the movie and book 'The Road.' The second half of the movie reflects the struggle of World War II. Guido and his son who were captured by the Nazi guards make several attempts to escape from the camps. Guido makes a lot of effort to hide his son from the Nazi guards like the father in ‘The Road.’ The father and son journey and their struggle depicted in 'The Road' post-apocalyptic landscape remains same in the movie. The drastic impact on the civilization that affected the normal lives of the people creates strong pessimistic overtones throughout the movie and the book. Both of them end with a ray of hope and improvement in their lives, yet there is innate prior to this end.
Several contrasting features include the comic overtones that are prevalent in the initial part of the movie. The movie seems to be quite unpredictable in the beginning with the comedy that is dominated in the first half of the film. The struggle and the capture by the Nazi camps that appears in the second half of the movie that cannot by estimated with the comedy that prevails in the first part of the movie. ‘The Road’ does not present this contrast of the comic and the tragic. Such an intermingling heightens the tragic effect. The father was always worried about his son surviving this disaster. This story remains serious throughout.
The struggle and the capture by the Nazi camps that appears in the second half of the movie is similar to the atrocities mentioned in ‘The Road’. When compared to 'The Road' there is a considerable amount of optimism that is there in the movie. The story overtones right from the beginning where the son and father are left in the most undesirable circumstances of civilization. The setting of the book is barbaric with the presence of cannibals whereas 'Life is Beautiful' does not portray much deeper barbarity when compared to that of 'The Road.' Though both of them project the ruthless side of human beings, the extent to which this is represented differs.

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Both deal with the sufferings of people under the Nazi rule and the desperate attempt made to escape the horror of the situation. They expose a terrible condition of mankind that is indeterminate and universal. Man is both the destroyer of himself. Also the father dies at the end of the story. Rather than help in survival they project the dark side of man and his ability to destroy and gain power. The idea of civilization is questioned; man's belief in the essential good of mankind has been shattered.
There is the belief that man is the most civilized creature on earth. A study of this book and the film pose serious questions to this aspect. One cannot blame fate for the harsh reality of life; man is solely responsible for his actions. Both of them draw the reader's attention to lie that is contrasted and presented. One has to face the situations in life with optimism and the other has to deal with the War. Man has the capacity to change; yet the desire for power corrupts. The works discussed above successfully interpret that the human condition can improve only if humans think for themselves.



Works Cited

Kunsa,Ashley,Maps of the World in its Becoming.West Virginia University.Fall 2009.August 2011.
Life is Beautiful. Dir Ruberto Benigni: Perf. Ruberto Benigni, Nieolleta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini; Aliramax, 1997. DVD
MacCarthy,Cormac,The Road,2006, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc on September 26, 2006.
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