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Reaction Paper— “Life Is Beautiful”

Life is Beautiful is a thrilling film that features interesting events during the Holocaust. It gives account of three people—a Jewish father, his son, and his wife— who find themselves detained and sent to a concentration camp. The son is extremely young, which makes his father concerned that he may become discouraged or give up on life (Benigni). The father explains to his son that they are engaged in a game and that everything is a task one can overcome to get points. The father employs this technique to ensure that his son remains motivated. The plan was that the victor was expected to be the person who attained 1,000 points earliest (Benigni). Interestingly, this ingenious plan would shield the son from dying. The father is found sneaking around the concentration camp and is tragically murdered by a Nazi worker. Nevertheless, the ending thrives as the young child is reconciled with his mother and even gets to ride around in an Allie tank (Benigni).


When it comes to filmmaking, the utilization of tried-and-true methods distinguishes it from other forms of visual storytelling. For example, in the film, the concentration camp is portrayed with a predominant use of the color grey, and it features several structures made of concrete that are shown to be unclean (Celli 76). In the film Life Is Beautiful, filmmakers can more effectively convey the plight of the inmates, who were often malnourished and overworked, and discriminated against based on their color. In addition, the atmosphere of the prison camp is quite exceptional due to the utilization of opposing concepts. The bland architecture of the center stands in stark contrast to the breathtaking natural backdrop, which consists of picture-perfect mountains. When establishing the setting and giving the impression that the audience is an eyewitness, the directors rely heavily on medium shots (Benigni). In my perspective, this unique approach enables the viewers to feel genuinely present in the exact location of the primary characters. In addition, close-ups are frequently used to demonstrate the characters’ feelings, which helps to ratchet up the tension in the story and highlights the main ideas and concepts.

Editing Method

It is essential to highlight that the editing techniques utilized for the film and the cinematography also contributed to the construction of an impression that might be interpreted as a personal tale or confession. In essence, this is felt in the speed at which shots transition from one another changes to convey particular signals and unravel the plot. Nevertheless, despite plenty of sudden shifts, the presentation rate is relatively modest overall. For example, the scene at the theater is made up of several shots that shift very rapidly to show the protagonist’s desire and the reaction of his future bride (Benigni).

Sound and Music

Sound and music are essential components of every film because they assist filmmakers in developing the appropriate ambiance for the story they are telling. In the film, orchestral music dominates the score, which is critical in developing the movie further. Songs are mostly played at a low volume, with few jarring shifts. Practical sound effects could be helpful and appropriate when depicting life in Italy before or in concentration camps after the war. Interestingly, the producers fail to employ some special effects in their work. On the other hand, considering that special effects have the potential to alter the film’s atmosphere as a whole, this may be viewed as an advantage of the artwork. Therefore, I believe that Life Is Beautiful is regarded as a personal account; hence, adding some components that are not reality-based would throw off the entire narrative.

Cast and Setting

Each essential character is convincing, and the actors that play them are a good fit for their roles. The life of the protagonist in the prison camp is shown in a highly controversial manner, which is something to take care of. The obstacles the filmmakers’ cameras do not capture are the convict’s face and the dehumanization they experience. Again, it appears that the filmmakers have chosen to concentrate on the emotions that contributed to the development of resilience rather than depicting specific historical events. In addition, the depiction of the prison camp is extremely general since the filmmakers appeared to be trying to steer clear of the most disturbing specifics.

My Criteria for Quality in Film

  1. The cinematography and editing of a film are only as excellent as its direction, and the finest films are directed such that these components support the story’s fundamental idea (Gao et al., 2019). The director must ensure that every film element conveys the intended atmosphere and facilitates the orderly course of events. Lighting and camera angles must enhance the meaning of the events and dialogue to be effective film elements that make sense to the storyline and the audience.
  2. Music and sound effects in outstanding films should be meticulously designed to fulfill particular objectives (Gao et al., 2019). Both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds must accomplish goals that make sense within the story’s framework and create suspense in the narration. Sounds may be employed to create an environment, emphasize or symbolically symbolize emotions, or fill silences. The soundtrack should support the narrative and characters without distracting them.
  3. For a film to be excellent, it must include outstanding acting that remains loyal to the characters and their arcs (Ericson & Grodman, 2013). All characters’ behaviors should reflect who they are and what they have experienced. Actors must successfully portray either passive or active folks in their everyday lives. It is essential in acting to convince the audience that the characters are genuine and compatible with the genre’s standards.
  4. The most influential movie language progresses the story without dragging. The finest films seldom drag with tedious or excessive dialogue (Ericson & Grodman, 2013). If a scene becomes tiresome, the characters’ conversation should be proportionate to their separate roles in the narrative and the growth of the story itself. Also, not everything must be stated. Often, the listener is struck more by the speaker’s absence of communication than by the actual words said.
  5. For the film to be outstanding, it must incorporate setting and casts (Gao et al., 2019). This is because a person’s performance significantly affects how both spectators and critics receive a movie; casting is one of the most critical aspects of the filmmaking process.
  6. My criteria for good movies have recently been updated to include the inclusion of a good tale. The use of story helps to ensure that people do not immediately connect a storyline with the typical tropes they have been exposed to for a considerable time (Ericson & Grodman, 2013).
  7. The art of video editing is significant because it is necessary for combining pictures and sounds in a way that makes us feel emotionally attached to the film we are viewing and, at times, as though we are present in the scene (Gao et al., 2019). It is reasonable to assume that one of the roles with the most significance in the motion picture business is that of a video editor.
  8. The use of symbolism in filmmaking is intended to assist the filmmaker in better articulating specific essential themes included in the screenplay (Ericson & Grodman, 2013). In light of this, the symbolism must be kept discreet while simultaneously being obvious enough for the audience to comprehend what is being communicated.

Works Cited

Celli, Carlo. “The Representation of Evil in Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful.” Journal of Popular Film and television 28.2 2000: 74–79.

Benigni, Roberto. “Life Is Beautiful.” Italy: Cecchi Gori Group (1997). Film.

Ericson, J., & Grodman, J. (2013). A predictor for movie success. CS229, Stanford University.

Gao, Z., Malic, V., Ma, S., & Shih, P. (2019). How to make a successful movie: Factor analysis from both financial and critical perspectives. In International Conference on Information (pp. 669-678). Springer, Cham.


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