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Love and injury in time of war. Attilio de Giovanni teaches poetry in Italy. He has a romantic soul, and women love him. But he is in love with Vittoria, and the love is unrequited. Every night he dreams of marrying her, in his boxer shorts and t-shirt, as Tom Waits sings. Vittoria travels to Iraq with her friend, Fuad, a poet; they are there with the second Gulf War breaks out. Vittoria is injured. Attilio must get to her side, and then, as war rages around him, he must find her the medical care she needs. In war, does love conquer all? Written by
Roberto Benigni is such a likable guy. He's also one of the most talkative, if you've seen any of his films. Man, this guy rattles off sentences so fast it almost gives me a headache. It's doubly tough when you have to read a lot of subtitles in a hurry to keep up with him! It's also not easy when you're not quite sure what's going on, at least in the first third of the movie as scenes switch with a number of flashbacks. By the 25-minute mark of this movie, I was worn out to sort everything out and follow Benigni's rapid-fire speech. He also has a strange way - at least to us Americans - of expressing himself and his humor. He's definitely different.
No sense going into the rest of the story as other reviewers have capably done that. Overall, it was a nice story and it had some very touching moments. You have to root for Benigni's good-hearted character, "Attilio, "who certainly deserved a better wife than he got. His kids were super, nice girls. Also fun to watch and hear was Tom Waits, who plays the piano and sings throughout the film on-screen. One more thing: there was no preaching about the war in Iraq. The filmmakers were smart enough to let the viewer think for themselves.
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