Umberto D (1952)

We were warned about the slowed paced film, Umberto D but after watching the warning wasn’t necessary.  In my opinion, the story was so good that I didn’t even pay much attention to the different speed.  What interested me were Umberto and his relationship with others and the “inner Umberto”.

In the first scene, we are introduced to a mob of old men protesting and Umberto is in that mob.  But I couldn’t tell who Umberto was, not even when the crowd had split up.  He just doesn’t stand out in the crowd.  Maybe this shows that even though Umberto is alone he’s not alone when it comes to his situation.  He’s a poor old retired guy like the rest of the protestors.

At first, I thought Umberto had many close friends because he’s friendly and seem to talk to a lot of people in the neighborhood but we soon find out that even though Umberto can make acquaintances easy he cannot make “actual friends” (aside from Maria).  In fact, people try to ignore him.  I saw this many times like when he subtly tries to ask the people he knew for money but once they figured out what he was asking for, they always made up some excuse like needing to go home or catch the bus when they could have just said they didn’t have the money to give.  Later, people ignored him after he and the landlady fought outside.  I was shocked to find out that he and the landlady used to be friends.  People even seem disgusted by him sometimes like when he was going to his room one night during the engagement party and this woman who is leaving the party gives him this mean look.  Or towards the end when he is sitting on the park bench and looks at the woman near him then the woman gives him a mean look.  Seems like the only friend he met and kept was his dog.

As I wrote earlier, I was interested in the “inner Umberto”.  I had this impression that no matter what kind of trouble Umberto was in he was always happy, optimistic, and able to take on the world.  It wasn’t until toward the ending of the middle that I learned that this seemingly happy man was extremely sad on the inside to the point of wanting to commit suicide.  It makes me wonder about the different situations the protestors in the beginning who all blended in with Umberto could be in and how many of them feel the same way.

Even though I loved this film the emotional stress was high.  I just felt so bad for him, he never won.  Even in the end I feel bad because he looks happy but he’s homeless so where is he going to go now? I wish there was a sequel.

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Posted by cjenkins   @   21 October 2010

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Oct 26, 2010
11:56 pm
#1 dmaldonado :

Oh man I couldn’t agree more I loved this film, but it was emotionally draining. I wanted a happy ending for poor Umberto, but sadly there was no real resolution. Definitely a sequel was needed lol but I guess that would defeat the purpose of what the film was meant to do.

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