Roberto Benigni's movie "Life is beautiful" was a successful attempt of making a tragic-comedy. Roberto Benigni directed the movie, wrote it and acted in it. Previously, he worked as a comedian in several movies. The movie won many awards including, Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 and an Oscar award for the best actor. The movie makes sure that as Benigni can very well make people laugh, he can also be a serious actor at the same time and is able to entertain people with his serious acting as well.
Before I start writing about the movie, I would like to discuss the main idea of it. World War II, its disasters, its effects on the people and of course on the country - both physically and psychologically is being discussed in the movie and Benigni was successful in depicting it in the movie.
George Holmes in the chapter 10 of his book "The Oxford Illustrated History of Italy" has excellently defined that period of Italy's history on which the movie was made.
According to Holmes: "Italy had entered the war both materially and psychologically unprepared, uncertain about her war aims and about how they were to be achieved. None the less the conviction that the war was represented some kind of spiritual apotheosis for Italy had been common to many interventionists, whether rightwing authoritarian like Salandra or democratic and reformist socialist like Bissolati." (pg 265)The movie's first half was really comic and enjoyable but the second half, according to many critics, was very tragic as the most of it was shot in concentration camps, showing all the miseries people had during that period. But on the other side, a good compensation for the second half is the sweet love story of a lady...