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Movie Analysis of “Life Is Beautiful”

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Life is Beautiful is a different kind of Holocaust film. It approaches the horrific ordeal in a way that involves viewers comedically and romantically in the beginning, but then utilizes these tools as a way to lure viewers to experience the Holocaust much like the Jews did. As a sudden change to the happiness and enjoyment of their lives.

A few years ago I was flipping through the channels and saw that Life Is Beautiful had just started. I had heard a lot of hype about it so I decided to watch it. All I knew about it was that it was a Holocaust movie, that was it. I was shocked to find myself laughing at how funny it was, especially in the beginning. After a couple of minutes I sort of forgot I was watching a Holocaust movie, it felt more like I was watching a Foreign Comedy that took place in the 40’s.

Suddenly the main characters are imprisoned and sent to a concentration camp. But it’s different than watching any other movie where the main characters are sent off to certain death. You’ve lived almost an hour observing their lives, how husband and wife met. You’ve shared in their romance, joy, and laughter, and now you share their fear and uncertainty as they are sent to a Nazi death camp.

The main character Guido is with his young son who can not help but ask his father question after question. Guido himself is a little unsure, but he knows it can not be good. For his son’s sake he turns uncertain danger into a game, where his son learns silence and hiding is the key to winning the grand prize in the game his father has created, a tank.

This is not an easy task for Guido who risks his life in every way possible to convince his son that this really is a game, that everyone is participating, and that they must “play” by the rules in order to win. The son doubts his father at times, but continues to follow instructions, determined to win the tank.

The climax of the movie is at the end when Jewish prisoners find out the war is over, and soon they will be free. Guido tells his son to hide and not to come out til tomorrow, knowing they will be free the next day. Tragically, Guido is shot while running around to look for his wife. But the next day, the son comes out from hiding just like his father said to, and sees the a tank, believing he had won the game. That’s when you totally lose it. This is the reward in watching the whole movie.

Throughout the comedy, romance, and suspense, it is the melancholy, heart filled end that had me realize, yes, life is beautiful. The main character sacrificed everything to shield his son from harm, to do whatever he could to protect what he loved even in the abominable conditions of the Holocaust. This movie showed how unselfish love can conquer all in the end. That is what I took from the movie, and I feel that even though this was a fictional story, viewers could still learn a great lesson from it. We can apply the unselfish love to our lives today to create a beautiful life.

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