Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Miracle in Milan (1951)

After watching The Bicycle Thieves, it's hard to believe that Miracle in Milan was made by the same director. When I saw the trailer, where Totò and Edvige rode the broom, I wondered what kind of movie it would be.

Watching Miracle in Milan is like reading a storybook, where everything can happen. The main character, Toto, is a person who thinks all the people in the world are good and kind. The story begins with an old woman who lives alone finds baby Totò in a cabbage patch. In the next scene we begin to see that this is no ordinary story, for when she comes back home, the boiled milk (or whatever it is) overflows and makes a little river on the floor. She doesn't get angry, but put little houses and trees around the 'river'. 'What a great big place the world is!' she says to little Totò. She dies and Totò is sent to an orphanage. At 18 years old, Totò leaves the orphanage. We learn here that it's better to say 'Good day.' only to the people we know. We also learn that Totò is a kind hearted person after he gives his bag to a man who wants it; although in return he can stay at his place - if we can call that a place. I'm very impressed with 'The Sun' scene, where standing [or running?] in 'a drop of golden sun' means like being nearby a fire place for poor people in the winter time.

Among the poor in Milan, Totò soon becomes sort of their leader. When oil is found on the land, a rich man called Mobbi buys the land and tries to evacuate them. Totò's adoptive mother comes and gives him a magic dove which can make wishes come true. With the dove, Totò helps the poor people to defend their homes and also grants their wishes. The most amazing scene is when Totò gives the sun to Edvige, but my favourite is 'Fano chocolate is the best.'

"All we need is a shack to live and sleep in.
All we need is a bit of ground to live and die on.
All we ask is a pair of shoes, some socks and a bit of bread.
That's all we need to believe in tomorrow."

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