‘The Tiger and the Snow’ mixes love and comedy with war

Adriana Olivarez

Love is not always a two-way street. Being in love with someone who refuses your attention and love is not always a tragedy. In fact the persistent chasing after a lover could even turn into a comedy.

Attilio (Robert Benigni) is a poet and lecturer at a Roman University and he is impatient, forgetful and obsessive. He is a poet in love with life. He tells his students to fall in love or else they would not be able to write. He believes that inspiration will come from the feeling of loving someone or something. “You must always be in love” he tells them “always.”

In a passionate lecture he throws himself on the floor and looks at the ceiling as if it was the sky full of stars, then he tells his students to fall in love with the stars, then he touches the wall as if he was hugging it and repeats himself to just fall in love. Attilio is indeed deeply in love but the woman of his dreams, Vittoria (Nicoletta Braschi), wants absolutely nothing to do with him. However, Attilio does not give up. He overwhelms her with his affection, follows her around pretending he runs into her by coincidence. His persistence might came out to the average American as being a stalker but the scenery of Rome along with misadventures of Attilio makes his obsession for Vittoria a romantic comedy.

Images of the nostalgic streets of Rome and the beautiful clear sky of Bagdad in the middle of a chaotic war make this movie unique. The lines between comedy and tragedy are interrelated in this movie. However, the transitions are so smooth that you can find yourself in tears and the next second laughing.

One aspect that I found amazing was that even in the funniest scenes of the movie do not make you forget that the country of Iraq is at war and that innocent people are dying.

The film makes this point without verbalizing the reasons for the invasion, it shows the people struggling, the chaos in the streets, the confusion of the troops without making a strong statement about whose war is being fought and showing more whose affected by it.

Roberto Benigni also directed the movie and in his directors statement he said that The tiger and the snow represents the ferocious of a tiger and the pureness of the snow.

If there is a platonic love in your life this movie will make you run after him/her and begin to write poems, sing while walking and smile to every person around you.

If there is no platonic lover you will want to find one. There is no exact definition of love therefore it could also be persistence, patience and why not even a little or a lot stalking like in Attilio’s case.