Umberto D.

October 13th, 2011

Better late than never? I don’t know why I always put things to the last minute. But I just hope that by the 28th I can get 2 good posts in. So, here goes.

Umberto D., like other NeoRealist films, focused on the hardships of life in Italy, after World War I. Umberto, as the title suggests, was the main character of the film. However, during the opening scene, with many closeups of the random people striking to pension wages, it was hard to tell who this person actually was. It wasn’t until other characters started saying his name that I figured out who Umberto was. When I saw him, though, I doubted him being the main character, because he was just an old man in debt with a dog. Not really “main character material.” He seemed like a tricky person at first, trying to sell his belongings to random people, but I saw that he was just trying to earn money to pay for his rent. And that’s basically what the whole movie was about, Umberto trying to earn money to pay for it. The landlady was unreasonable though, and didn’t get that the government did not give him enough money. She always never accepted some of the cash that he gave to her, and eventually kicked him out of the house.

Umberto’s only real friend in the film, excluding his dog, Flike, was Maria, the maid of the house. They both cared a lot about each other, but each had troubles of their own; Umberto, having debt and getting a fever, and Maria, being pregnant and not knowing who the father was. With all these things in their minds, they barely helped each other out. That’s why Maria lost Flike when Umberto asked her to take care of him. But luckily, he ended up finding Flike. His dog was the only one Umberto truly cared for, as he thought that both their lives should end together. But Flike had other thoughts about dying and ended up running from the tracks. Umberto thought Flike was right and he finally thinks that his life is good as long as his dog is there with him.

In all, I thought it was a pretty good movie, considering the fact that the time period was set in less than a week. Since Zavattini wanted to de dramatize, the film was set as an everyday thing. It focused on an ordinary person dealing with daily life. It ends on a hopeful note, a characteristic not common to Neorealism.

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9 Responses to “Umberto D.”

  1. jessica18 on October 19, 2011 9:46 pm

    I agree! It was hard to figure out who Umberto was in the beginning. It wasn’t until he was isolated that I figured out he was the main charcter. He did seem like an ordinary person. I was amazed that he actually wasn’t a real actor. You’re right: the movie was basically about Umberto trying to raise money to pay off his debt. I also mentioned it in my post that this movie pretty much tells the story of an average man. How many people won’t you find in this world that are in debt and need to raise money so they can stay living where they are? Also, it’s not rare to find a teen girl pregnant and the father backs up and doesn’t want to face the situation.

    The ending doesn’t show anything exciting as well. Umberto is off running with his dog, having a mindset that everything is ok. This is another realistic scene. Because what Umberto is doing is facing his problems and still living his life with his only companion, Flike.

    I agree with you when you say that you thought it was a pretty good movie. It seemed interesting to me how people can make a movie about the average life. Nothing exciting, yet it kept me interested!

  2. yeongbinkim on October 20, 2011 10:22 pm

    I agree that Flike was only Umberto’s friend.. There were many conflicts or events between them such as begging by his dog, losing, finding, crying…etc i also loved that this film focused on a person’s daily life and reality of this world…
    Anyways… nice writes!

  3. jgreenfield100 on October 20, 2011 11:20 pm

    I agree with your analysis of how the movie ended. I was also a little surprised on the ending of the movie, just as you were. I thought the ending would be something in the lines of how a typical Italian Neorealist film usually ends, and that’s a ending that is usually sad and bleak. But instead this movie ended off on a happy note, which was nice to see, especially because of how sad Umberto journey was to get to that point.

  4. Pawel Forfa on October 21, 2011 12:14 am

    The landlord lady was mean. She was basically a bitch…I always wondered what happened with Maria. Did she marry the right person and what the child was like. The entire movie seemed real. It didn’t have any form of plastic characters, like Double Indemnity did, with the crazy hair on some women. This was partially due to it being an Italian movie with a completely different genre. Anyway, great movie and the ending was touching.

  5. marvinb1228 on October 21, 2011 3:43 am

    the ending to this film didnt seem very sad or happy to me it felt like a cliffhanger and left me curious as to the fate of Umberto and Flike. The part about Maria also left me a little sad because of all the hints that her pregnancy would result in the loss of her job and home yet neither the two soldiers wouldnt take responsibility as the father. Although the ending wasnt what I’m accustomed to i still agree this was a great and touching movie.

  6. glennis on October 23, 2011 4:57 pm

    I simply loved you anylasis it helped me clearly remember this film. The ending to me was a lot better then Umberto claiming both their lives, at least he has a chance to amek things better. Maybe him and Flike could be park hobos, until maaaybe Maria’s boyfriend decided to accept her and maybe she can invite Umberto with her one day after strolling the park? Wishful thinking, unrealistic but hey a girl could dream. It be a very nice twist.

  7. sandra411 on December 14, 2011 2:18 am

    Really good analysis ! i was also confused in the beginning of the film didn’t who who was who and what was going on … The whole movie just focused on the dept the main character was in and the problems of his lady friend Maria and her pregnancy. Didn’t like the character of the land lady at all , she was very mean and cruel to the old man. When he lost his dog it was pretty touching to see how far he would go to get him back ! overall good movie about real life and real situations.

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