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Life is Beautiful

reviewed by Vivian Rose, age 14, from US

"Life is Beautiful" just doesn't fit into any particular movie category. I kept trying to figure out what genre this movie was aimed at- it seemed too comical to be a drama, and too tragic to be a comedy. It also appeared to me that the most emotionally dramatic points of the movie were underscored by levity, and the most potentially comical scenes were too sad to really provide amusement.

Of course, I had my doubts when I heard this film described as "a comedy about being in a World War II concentration camp". "Comedy" and "concentration camp" sounded like mutually exclusive phrases to me. As it turned out, I was absolutely right.

Guido, a Jewish waiter, and his family are sent to a concentration camp during World War II. He explains the situation as a game to his young son, Joshua. Using his quick wit and silly personality, Guido makes light of everything- even some enormously bad situations. His antics sometimes endanger his life - and his son's-but in the end, they save Joshua's life. However, Guido is killed.

"Life is Beautiful" was well acted, but I expected to have at least one scene where Guido takes something seriously, and he never does. "Life is Beautiful" might have been better if it was done as a strictly serious film. I didn't find this film very laughable, and the failed attempts at humor were really misplaced. Also, it started slowly, and the first forty-five minutes of the film could easily have been eliminated.

My rating: 2 stars

Rating : PG-13

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