TIGER AND THE SNOW, THE
Soon after the start of hostilities in Iraq, Rome-based poet and lecturer Attilio (Roberto Benigni) feels compelled to head to Baghdad when he learns from his friend, Iraqi poet Fuad (Jean Reno), that the woman he loves, Vittoria (Nicoletta Braschi), has been seriously injured in a bomb explosion. Amidst the chaos in Baghdad, Attilio does everything in his power to find the medication she needs to survive and come out of her coma - even finding an old chemist who may be able to remember a home-grown recipe for the medication that is impossible to get in war torn Baghdad.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It seems that Roberto Benigni's dreadfully misconceived movie version of Pinocchio (with the balding Benigni as the shorts-wearing Pinocchio) was not a one off: he can misfire more than once, and in this woefully unfunny comedy, he shows how completely he can misjudge his own material. His producer wife, who also plays the unfortunate, benignly smiling Vittoria, seems to have been in a coma not just on screen, but when greenlighting the mess of a screenplay.
You don't have to wait to recognise the first warning signs of disaster looming: the opening scene introduces Attilio (Roberto Benigni) in white T shirt and boxer shorts, walking in on a ceremony amongst some ruins, possibly Greek. The bride in white arrives and the scene ends when a traffic cop turns up to book the car parked outside - Attilio's of course. Benigni is frantic but not funny as he tries to play the naïve fool in this dream sequence, which also helps confuse the plot.
It doesn't get any better, as the cinematic injuries grow, with the added insult of Jean Reno playing an Iraqi poet, who later in the film unaccountably commits suicide. (I can think of a very good reason, though ...) Overstating his signature manic antics, Benigni is often irritating and/or boring as Attilio, a dunce who is madly in love with Vittoria. By the way, he has two teenage daughters back home in Rome, and Vittoria turns out to be .... But no, I won't reveal this little twist. You'll just have to sit through the film to find out. I did.
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TIGER AND THE SNOW, THE (M)
Tigre e la neve, La
CAST: Roberto Benigni, Jean Reno, Nicoletta Braschi, Tom Waits, Emilia Fox, Gianfranco Varetto, Giuseppe Battiston, Luci Poli, Chiara Pirri, Andrea Renzi, Abdelhafid Metalsi, Amid Farid
PRODUCER: Nicoletta Braschi
DIRECTOR: Roberto Benigni
SCRIPT: Roberto Benigni, Vincenzo Cerami
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Fabio Cianchetti
EDITOR: Massimo Fiocchi
MUSIC: Nicola Piovani
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Maurizio Sabatini
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 19, 2006