Always I have wondered why people like movies so much. But I wasn’t aware of the real answer until I saw this incredible movie “Cinema Paradiso”. This movie, the way I take it, is not about its story or characters but about how over these years people have lived cinema and cherished it. It has formed an important part of people’s lives and has been held to heart by them. We have only heard stories of how people laughed and cried with movies, killed for movies and thought their lives were like the life of people in the movies but this film demonstrates them in a charming and elegant way.
Every little thing in the movie makes you to fall in love with it. Imagine a country side in beautiful Italy, simple people, a small street with a theater which is the only one in the town, movies in the theater are censored by a priest in the village church, a bunch of crazy people for every single movie shown in the theater and in particular a cute little boy always curious about the way the movies are projected.
You become familiar with some of the regular customers at the theater. They are a noisy lot – rude critics, who shout suggestions at the screen and are scornful of heroes who do not take their advice. Romances are launched in the darkness of the theater, friendships are sealed, wine is drunk, cigarettes smoked, babies nursed, feet stomped, victories cheered, sissies whistled at, and only god knows how this crowd would react if they were ever permitted to see a kiss.
It is a story of a Toto the little boy who shares a wonderful friendly relationship with the projectionist Alfredo. Alfredo teaches him how to project films after chasing him couple of times. In between the theater catches fire and Alfredo looses his eyes. Toto now starts projecting films. Toto when he grows old leaves the country side to become a great movie director. This is a very simple sounding story of the movie. But the way movie is produced is extra ordinarily magnificent. It has some of the beautifully shots of Italy. Conversations between Toto and Alfredo are mesmerizing.
This movie is chronicle of beginning days of television and how in that period people enjoyed movies like nothing. In one of the scenes even in the late night when after theater is closed on public demand the movie is screened on the wall outside. Thus, one could easily comprehend how frenzied people were in those times for movies.
The movie could thus be described as a classic, nostalgic, timeless, bitter, naughty, inspirational, about friendship, about relationships, about love and above all about a movie about love for the movies.