Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cinema Paradiso : A Celebration Of Life

There are many movies which make us happy, cry or nostalgic. In this post I would be talking about one such movie, Cinema Paradiso, an Italian film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and released in 1988.

For those who have seen it would know the greatness of it and for those who haven't let me tell you that when you will watch it, it would be a movie you will remember for your life.

The movie shows the earlier life as a kid and teenager of a successful film maker as he makes up his mind one night after his mother's call to return to his old town after nearly 30 years for
Alfredo's funeral.

The films portrays Toto as a small kid who is fascinated by movies and his relationship with Alfredo, the projectionist and owner of the local movie theatre called 'Cinema Paradiso'.

The movie is actually a celebration of the golden age of cinema. The movies ranging from the 1950s till the seventies and the enthusiasm of people for such movies is portrayed excellently.
The Cinema Paradiso has every type of audience you can except, who according to their nature cry, laugh, fear the movies as they progress.

The movies whenever they come, are first shown to the local priest who makes Alfredo cut out all the kissing and intimate scenes in the movies, for making it fit for the audience. Although Alfredo doesn't like it, he has no other option than to agree with the priest.

Toto's relationship with Alfredo is the best thing in the movie. Fatherless Toto finds a fatherly figure in Alfredo. Alfredo in turn finds solace in Toto. But on one unfortunate night, fire breaks out in Cinema Paradiso and costs Alfredo his eyes. But that doesn't harm him, he still remains as good as ever with his work as a projectionist.

A burned Cinema Paradiso also raises a wave of sadness among the people of the town. One lucky lottery winner who is also a cinema enthusiast invests in the rebuilding of the theater and thus Cinema Paradiso stands again with much grace then before. But now Alfredo is blind, so Toto is asked to help him and work as a projectionist. The reason behind this is that in spite of being a kid, Toto is the only person in town other than Alfredo who can operate the projector.

In the other half of the movie, Toto is shown to be grown up boy and a teenager who now not only works as a projectionist at Cinema Paradiso but also experiments with movie-making on his small camera. His first love in his growing years has been shown well.

Later the part where Alfredo makes Toto to leave the village with a promise to never come back is quite touching. Alfredo truly feels that Toto is an exceptional and extra-ordinary boy and should be flying higher instead of staying back in the small town. The statement which Alfredo makes is quite touching when he says, "I don't want to hear you talk anymore.I want to hear others talking about you. "

The ending part shows an older Toto returning back and getting reunited with his mother and other familiar people who have been regular audiences in Cinema Paradiso. They are quite proud and happy with how Toto has grown up.

Alfredo's wife hands over a reel of a film to Toto, as Alfredo had advised her before dying. In the end as Toto plays it, it turns out to be a beautiful compilation of all the kissing scenes which earlier Alfredo and Toto had cut out from the movies on the priest's saying.
The films ends well, promising a big smile on the viewer's face.

The film went on to win Grand Prix Du Jury award at the Cannes Film Festival and Best Foreign Language Film at Oscars, BAFTA and Golden Globe.


  1. Download under progress :)
    a nice review...
    similar to Nayagan,, i mean the age movement :)

    1. I think you must have finished downloading by now. :)
      Do watch it and experience the ride of happiness.

  2. Well written. Cinema Paradiso gives us a unique movie watching experience. If u love movie u can't miss this movie.

    1. Yes, you are right. One can't miss this one.

  3. i was going to watch this tonight..

    1. Good, then by tonight you would have watched one of the movies which you would never forget in your life. :)

  4. It's that one movie that every cinephile remember watching... it connects with everyone at some level. Such an amazing experience.

    1. Yea it does.
      Its an amazing experience. :)

  5. Anyone who loves movies will probably love Cinema Paradiso. I do.