Umberto D (1952) : Real + Raw

         Directed by: Vittorio de Sica

Umberto D, a classic Italian neorealism film produced and directed by Vittorio de Sica is a masterpiece. The film revolved around one of the alarming societal issues present in almost every society – poverty.  Halfway through the film I realized how eerily familiar life really is even in different parts of the world. The film showed bits of ordinary life and I think that’s what makes it different from any other films. It showed the reality and that no matter where you are in the world, your gender, and even your skin color, life can be  too much to handle most of the time (or maybe even all the time).

To be honest, Umberto touched my heart in so many ways but can I just say that he confused me too. There were parts when he was mad all the time but when he’s with Flicke he was all smiles and he looked like everything’s okay in the world and that nothing will go wrong but in reality it isn’t. People like that confused me, honestly. How can someone still smile even if things are falling apart? But I liked the way he tried to do everything in his power just to provide Flicke and his self a better life.

Flicke was the most loyal dog I have ever seen in my entire life. I mean it sounds like I’m over-exaggerating things but that’s just the way it is. As someone who grew up wanting to have a dog, it warmed my heart to see how much he loved Umberto and how he would go through such lengths just to be with his owner. He was so loyal, I wanted one too.

Maria, probably Umberto’s only human friend and despite their age gap created a bond like no other. They understood their feelings and one thing the two have in common is that they were both tough in different angles. In the film, Maria proved his love for Umberto and maybe even treated him like his own father and vice versa.

My least favorite part of the film was somewhere in the ending. It was the part where Umberto was standing, Flicke by his side, while waiting for the train. The scene was such a hard pill to swallow to the point that it hits home. It was such a sensitive topic, for me. A lot of thoughts were running inside my mind while watching that particular scene. It was so painful to watch and I would be lying if I say that it didn’t bother me. 

My most favorite part of the film was when Flicke went missing (not that it’s my favorite part because he went missing, no) and Umberto didn’t know what to do and where to look at. The scene mainly shows how much he loves and adores his dog and how much he’s willing to risk everything just to find, be with him and hold him. Their reunion was so painful yet so beautiful to watch.

To answer my question, how can someone still smile even if things are falling apart? I must say that Flicke is Umberto’s greatest source of happiness maybe even his only source. Dogs are like people, they know everything even when something’s wrong.One thing’s for sure, Umberto didn’t want Flicke to worry and that’s what makes their relationship so breathtakingly beautiful.

Also before I end it, fun fact!! Did you know that de Sica casted non-professionals for the lead roles? To be honest, it was a great risk but he managed to pull everything off and the characters were beautifully chosen and still nailed their scenes. Kudos! 

The film didn’t need any kind of effects just to relay the message of the film. It was raw and real and that’s what makes it depressingly brilliant.

                                                   Quizon, Myka Andrea G. 

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