Unaccommodated Man

Umberto D is one of those films which will always be on Best Films lists whenever such lists get made,as opposed to impostors which sneak in for a while and then drop off.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: September 4, 2010 3:59:22 am

Umberto D is one of those films which will always be on Best Films lists whenever such lists get made,as opposed to impostors which sneak in for a while and then drop off.

Vittorio De Sica creates an unforgettable character in the old man who is trying to keep his body and soul intact when every single element around him is turning inimical: his greedy landlady who hires out his room to questing couples by the hour; the man who will not give him the money he asks for in

exchange for yet another of his possessions he has to hawk; the state of his country which will not let him live with dignity.

His only sympathisers are victims too: the housemaid who’s as scared of the landlady as he is,even as she tries to figure out just who of the three men she’s been out with is the father of her child; and his faithful dog,who gets picked up by animal catchers,and is rescued in the nick of time.

It just happens to be set in Rome. It could have been played out anywhere in the world. That’s what’s called universal.

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