Philosophy over coffee

Amore Nel Paradiso.

In Flicks, Size: Grande on June 17, 2008 at 8:53 am

Alfredo said, “Life is not like the movies. It is much harder.” And this is the very story that Cinema Paradiso presented. A man helplessly in love with a woman fails to witness a fairy-tale ending to their love story. It was one that wasn’t lacking nor in excess of romanticism. The secret meetings, the waiting and hoping, and even the traditional writing of letters were all there. This could only cover one of the many themes Cinema Paradiso was able to encapsulate throughout the 3-hour running time of the movie. If there was one prominent theme here, it was that of love. But it wasn’t just about love for a woman.

Amante. The romantic love that lingered between two characters until their old age is one of the strongest proofs that even as time passes by, despite the number of people we meet, the heart surely never forgets.

Amigo/Amiga. Salvatore’s relationship with Alfredo shows a bond as strong as that which could exist between a father and son. Given their age gap, the old man witnessed how the young man Toto transformed from being a nuisance to a responsible man who saved his life to a man in love. The kind of love they had for each other is one that is beyond what normal friends have. It was a love between two best friends who have grown to rely on each other as if they are family.

Famiglia. Resembling the parable of the prodigal son, Salvatore’s return to his hometown to once again see his aged mother and sister tells us that despite abandonment, family is perhaps the only one we can return to when everyone else has turned their backs on us. Toto’s mother felt it was he who rang the bell that one day, signaling that the long wait for her is finally over.

Interessi. Toto’s passion for films encouraged him even at a young age to pester the old Alfredo as he does his job at the cinema. The same led him to spend what was given by his mother for milk in movies, staying there until the cinema closes, oblivious to the worried mother waiting right outside. The old Alfredo grew up and got old doing just the same thing over and over and over again. Yet Toto’s passion for movies (and need I say kissing scenes) was the very same thing that brought him success.

Sconosciuto. Occasionally, even without the intention, our love for things not only creates happiness within ourselves but also among other people who receives the blessings of our dedication and efforts for the things we are most passionate about.

In this movie, we are reminded that sometimes, no matter how hard we forget, love for someone is the hardest thing to do. In the same manner that our love for family and friends is one that can stand the test of time- no matter the difficulties, through the good times and the bad. Finally, it is our passion for things that keeps us going, even with the countless roadblocks that we face. For as long as we believe in what we want and extending that belief to the notion that we can do it, we are not only making ourselves happy but also the others who share our happiness with us.

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