Rembrandt Q Pumpernickel’s review published on Letterboxd:
Part of my 20 least favorite film viewing experiences list.
Much of the discussion of this movie centers on appropriateness and humor, whether or not one of the worst atrocities man has committed can be the background for a comedy. Those who say that finding comedy in the darkest of scenarios is a positive love the movie. Those who say the film is super disrespectful hate it.
I happen to be of the opinion that anything can be the setting of a good joke if the joke is smart, well thought out, and has the right target. But I have no interest in engaging in that argument with this film.
Why? Because this film is bad in every way without even considering that. That Roberto Benigni has all but disappeared after this is no surprise. His broad and gangly acting would be thought over the top in the silent era.
The characters are distinctly 2D, and the plot almost non existent. The film is more like a sketch comedy with a setting and theme loosely tying incidents together.
And what is that theme? That lying is the key to seeing life as beautiful. That looking the other way is how to assimilate great tragedy in your life. This is an all too popular philosophy, if somewhat subconsciously, and I can't imagine really anything I disagree with more.