I’m sure many things have already been said about the movie Umberto D. It is indeed one of the finest movies ever made. I used to work for the Red Cross helping old people in my area and this movie brought many memories to my mind.
Director Vittorio De Sica dedicated this movie to his father. The main character is Umberto Domenico Ferrari. He is old and a poor pensioner who has no one but his dog Flike.
The story is actually very simple – Umberto is struggling to pay the rent to his landlady and she just doesn’t have any understanding for his situation. The only friendly character is the young maid Maria and although she cares about the old man she can’t do much to help him. They both are down on their luck.
Carlo Battisti plays Umberto and I must say that he has done an absolutely fantastic job. I was amazed to find out that this was actually the only movie he ever played in. I don’t think it’s possible to watch this movie without tears in your eyes. Mister Battisti has managed to break my heart with his astonishing performance.
Although very emotional and dramatic, this movie is never sappy or mawkish. All characters are very well developed and we can make clear conclusions even from the shortest appearances.
This is definitely a character-driven movie. It will make you think about ageing but regardless the years, we can be down on our luck any time. Sometimes it takes only one dog to help us further in our struggles through life.