Friday, November 03, 2006

The Tiger and the Snow (La Tigre E La Neve)

I'm Italian!

The Tiger and the Snow is a beautiful romantic movie, and it opened quite perfectly with an awesome ballad "You Can Never Hold Back Spring", performed by Tom Waits himself. Written and directed by Italian Roberto Benigni (famed for the wonderful LIfe is Beautiful), he also stars as the lead Attilio de Giovanni, a lovestruck poet who falls for a woman in his recurring dreams.

Only of course, to wake up each time he dreams of them at the alter, and when she is about to declare her undying love for him, punctuated with promises of hot sex. Yes, you read that right. But I digress. In reality, he's an absent minded poetry professor who always forgets where he parks his car. But despite his quirky looks and demeanor (are Benigni's characters always like that I wonder), imagine the pandemonium within him when he finally meets the woman in his dreams, Vittoria (the object of his obsession played by wife in real life Nicoletta Braschi), an acquaintance of fellow writer Fuad (Jean Reno).

Meeting in the dreams, and meeting for real can hardly be any different, and his infatuation with and love for Vittoria goes unrequited. Until of course we examine through to the rest of the movie, how unconditional and large this love for her is, when he takes it upon himself to journey to and through war-strife Iraq to save her from injury, through hell and high water, in dogged pursuit of elements that can save the love of his life.

Although infused with bits of comedy now and then, the movie takes a long hard look at how much one will do for someone else whom you love deeply. It might be a case of "nothing is impossible", given the will and the affection. But what if you know that what you're doing will likely to be unnoticed, or unappreciated, or unrequited. Then what? Hence the power of unconditional love. Truly very rare indeed. Should you feel, as the movie progresses, that certain bits seemed a little out of place, my advice is to persevere until the end, where a sleight of hand twist is introduced, and given the 20/20 hindsight, you'll begin to ponder, and understand this love a little more.

It's bittersweet, and with moments that might touch you. But alas, this is no Life is Beautiful, and although it has its moments with the beautiful make belief cinematographic elements in the end, it somehow lacked that extra bit of emotional depth to truly move an audience.

Oh, and that fellow blonde teacher, now she's hot!

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