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(Review originally written at 22 December 2009)

No doubt that these Italian neorealistic movies are great ones. They all have in common that they are very simple with its story and set up and often feature non-experienced actors in it, to give the movie all the more a sense of realism.

This movie basically follows one person in his everyday life. A pensioner after the war, who not only gets confronted by his old age but also that of the changing world around him and their perceptions of him. It gets more and more hard to get by, also especially financially but luckily he still always has his loyal dog by his side.

It's a real simple story but also always an intriguing one to follow, even though of course nothing too spectacular ever occurs in it. The story gets made compelling due to its entire set up and atmosphere that it has. This is what makes basically every neorealistic a pleasure to watch, even the lesser ones.

I like the fact that most of the actors in this movie were inexperienced ones. They somehow give the movie more life with its emotions and feelings. The principal actor Carlo Battisti never appeared in a movie before and also never appeared in anything ever since. Sort of the same story can be told about some of the other persons who appear in this movie.

There of course also is a social commentary and deeper meaning to it hidden in it but this movies always do a good job at not ever putting the emphasis on that and don't be preachy and all about it but instead let the images and main character tell the entire story for themselves. This also always has as a result that these type of movies will stick to your mind, even when you didn't liked or understood everything when you first were initially watching it.

Simple and pure, great Italian neorealistic film-making, from the director of the other great genre example "Ladri di biciclette".

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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