“…No Granny wasn’t mean, and she did like little birds. It wasn’t her. It was me. It was my fault for not telling the story properly for not making her feel what I felt. I was so upset, I told myself, there must be people whose job it is to use the right words, put things in a way who when their heart beats, can get other people’s hearts to beat. That day I decided to become a poet….if the words aren’t right….nothing’s right…”
My film mentor and icon hit gold again! Italian Writer, Director and actor Roberto Benigni has managed to execute a film as lovely as his others. 2005’s ‘The Tiger and the Snow’ was a breathtaking, heart-warming, tear-stirring, luminous film about truly living in the moment. It’s about never, never, never giving up or taking no for an answer. It again, teaches it’s audience about what positivity and will-power will do in our lives and that you should never be afraid of being who you are and speaking the truth! J
Roberto plays Attilio de Giovanni, a poet who has a romantic and playful soul, he is the favourite of many women but the one he truly adores, his love is un-requited. Nicoletta Braschi (his wife) who plays Vittoria and whom finds his love heavy and nightmarish only realizes how pure and powerful his love is when he does everything he possibly can to help her when she is injured during the Baghdad war. She swears she won’t return his love unless she sees a tiger in the snow. In addition to the romance, we journey into Baghdad during the war, filled with adventure and uncertainty. Comedy in enticing camels to ease your crossing through the desert, thrill from receiving abuse from frightened American soldiers, and dramatically finding out you’ve lost a dear friend.
From beginning till end Benigni brings us along on a cinematic brilliance of dreams coming to life and of love still burning bright amongst hellish and un-certain times. The camera angles, locations and dialogue were all just right and the message the most important of all. And that is why we make films; ultimately to relay positive messages to the masses and evoke change. Of course there is business and games played here too; but the filmmaker that is passionate about the message, in my book always conquers all.
Lines and monologues Roberto delivered that were dear to my heart were:
“Fall in love, if you don’t love, it’s all dead! Fall in love and everything will come to life!”
“To convey joy you must be happy. To convey pain, you must be happy. Be happy, you must suffer! Don’t be scared of suffering, the whole world suffers!”
It takes all kinds to make up this world, and each kind has a definitive preference in film. Some like light and fluffy pieces that big name actors play the same role in, over and over again. And others like films that combine light and fluffy with depth, truth and inspiration. If you like the latter, then you’ll love ‘The Tiger and the Snow’, Roberto Benigni is one of the most talented writers, directors and actors alive today; someone personable and humble, more interested in touching your heart, than making the big bucks.
I’ll leave you with my favourite monologue of the film, which goes:
“…If she dies, they can close this whole show of a world, they can turn it off, unscrew the stars, roll up the sky and put it on a truck, they can turn off the sunlight I love so much. You know why I love it so much? Because I love her when the sun shines on her. They can take everything away, these carpets, columns, houses, sand, wind, frogs, ripe watermelons, hail, seven in the evening, May, June, July, basil, bees, the sea, courgettes…”
Thank-you Roberto Benigni! J