For the second time in his career, Italian actor Roberto Benigni takes on Pinocchio, the story of a wooden puppet who comes to life. Source: Jesuit Media.
Benigni (Life is Beautiful) played the titular character in 2002’s Pinocchio. In this new release, he plays Gepetto, the carpenter who creates Pinocchio (Federico Ielapi). Pinocchio wants to become a human boy and encounters all kinds of adventures in his quest, with his nose growing longer every time he tells a lie.
The 2002 version was not well received, but as Gepetto, Benigni has a chance to show his comic talents as well as his capacity for pathos.
In many ways, this is a lavish production. It recreates an atmosphere of the 19th century, elaborate sets for a local village, homes, shops and a visiting circus of marionettes.
What needs to be said is that it is very Italian in its style – emotions and more emotions.
While an Italian sensibility will respond well, it may well be too much for audiences which with more restrained sensibilities who may feel it goes over the top many times in its action, in its dialogue and humour.
Review by Fr Peter Malone MSC, Jesuit Media.
Pinocchio: Starring Roberto Benigni, Federico Ielapi. Directed by Matteo Garrone. 124 minutes. Rated M (Mature themes and violence).
Pinocchio (Jesuit Media)