I know how director Vittoria De Sica wants me to react to this 1952 Italian film. He wants me to feel sorry for the main character, Umberto Domenico Ferrari (Carlo Battisti). You see, Umberto is an old guy on a pension, and his pension doesn't really cover his living expenses. In fact, at the beginning of the film, other old people are marching for increases in their pensions.
So Umberto doesn't have enough money to pay his rent, but is that the fault of his landlady (Lina Gennari)? I don't think it is. She's made out to be the bad guy in this film because she demands that Umberto pay his rent in full or she's going to evict him. See, this is exactly what happens when a country gets too big a whiff of Socialism. De Sica wants us to hate the landlady only because she's trying to collect rent. Who's really at fault here? The government, of course.
Besides that, Umberto tries to borrow money from his old friends, but isn't able to. As far as I can tell, all of Umberto's friends seem to have enough money to get by. Why doesn't Umberto? Here's why: Umberto didn't save. Furthermore, he's got this dog. Umberto is like one of those street people who stand on the corners with signs asking for money while their dog sits next to them. You know what? If you're homeless, you shouldn't have a dog. Dogs cost money. Get a home first, then get a dog.
To make matters worse, I'm not sure I even like Umberto. He seems awful whiny and ungrateful for what he has. He seems to cling to the notion that simply because he worked for 30 years and always paid his debts that he should somehow be exempt from paying his debts now. Sure, the guy is old, but he seems pretty spritely. How about this: Get a job! There must be something this old guy can do for a few bucks a day. Ultimately, I think Umberto is just lazy and doesn't want to work, so if he's kicked out of his house and dies, starving in the street, it's just his own fault.
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