La Strada (The Road) Reviews

Page 1 of 50
Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2015
Giulietta Masina lends a captivating innocence - almost impossible not to love - to a Chaplin-like waif while Fellini breaks away from neorealism with this magical and whimsical circus fable/road movie that has a beautiful score by Nino Rota and an unforgettable ending.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2010
Fellini created a mélange of beauty with this mystical, fantastical story, that is more about the human condition, love, and suffering, than about entertainment, or more importantly, whimsy. It's really about a life wasted, and the extent of human suffering. What's worse is that the film continually shows uplifting, thoughtful scenes that you as the viewer believe will lead to a happy resolution for Gelsomina (Masina). It starts with her being sold to a strongman named Zampano (Quinn) (which of course bodes well for our heroine). She follows him around the country in a motorcycle traveling barrage, and works with him to be the comedic relief in his act. His solemn advances and possession over her amounts to Stockholm syndrome. She runs away and meets a clown (Basehart) who is poised to be the romantic lead. In reality he's only a red herring, and Gelsomina is stuck with Zampano as a companion, though neither likes nor tolerates the other. Gelsomina is also emotional, crying a lot of the time at her internment and the strongman's abuse. These two people should break apart, because neither is happy, and yet Zampano actually holds dominion over her, and won't let her go because he has monetary claim. It's a film of false starts and romantic tragedy, which makes it all the more horrific when the ending presents itself. Mythology and general lore definitely play a part in how the film is put together, and the whimsical tone and influences are obviously apparent in the tone and the way events are reflected in the narrative voice. The best thing about this film is that it looks and sounds like a quirky comedy about someone who deserves better, but really it's all about Zampano. He's the one who has command, he keeps Gelsomina hostage emotionally and physically, and he's the one we end on. It's his story to reflect on, and his to toil over in his mind. Though Gelsomina commands the screen most of the time, and is the person we feel for, it's not her end that we eventually see.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2011
If you can ignore a few major plot-holes herein, I guess you'll enjoy the tragic journey (which hardly leads anywhere) of a girl in this classic movie.
blkbomb
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2011
My first Fellini movie, but definitely not my last. La Strada is an amazing film. At times it is very fun to watch and at others it is almost painful. It brings about an array of emotions that change throughout the entire movie.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
November 14, 2007
master showman and producer dino de laurentiis died today aged 91. he produced over 160 films including la strada and nights of cabiria (both of which won oscars for best foreign film), blue velvet, manhunter, evil dead II and army of darkness, barbarella and danger: diabolik as well as many notorious flops. quite a career. rip
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2010
La Strada tells the age old story of the frailty of innocents, 'The Road' can be a long and tough journey. It is a beautiful film, I love 8 1/2 and regard it as Fellini's best but I would always watch this one over the other every time. Fellini can take half of the credit though in my mind as it is Giulietta Masina who really makes La Strada the masterpiece that it is, she's worth 1000 Marilyn Monroe's in my opinion (even though she has a face like an Artichoke!)
Super Reviewer
½ December 27, 2006
An array of feelings fill me. I don't know wether to like or dislike this film. I would say I would watch it again so I may need to side more on the liking end of it. Masina was, for lack of a better word, BRILLIANT! She can take the stage and tell you everything you need to know without speaking a word. FANTASTIC!
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2007
the story seems so simple until you realize that by the end the film has taken you through a gauntlet of emotions. all the acting was good, but masina steals the show with great timing and perfect facial expressions for every scene, emotion, and thought. its like you can read her characters mind through her face. the film almost feels like two halves of a film but in a good way, as we see the ups and downs of road life for circus folk, and we get to take it in with excellent cinematography and some excellent lanscapes. a wonderful film.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2009
In La strada, Fellini shows the contrasting attitudes of lifestyles: between the joyless and mirthful, between the brutish and the meek, and between husband and wife. Anthony Quinn plays the great Zampanò, a one-trick circus strongman who travels across the countryside in a makeshift, motorcycle-pulled gypsy wagon. His first assistant, Rosa, has died, so he travels back to her family to buy (yes, buy) another assistant, her sister, Gelsomina. Her tearful mother explains that Gelsomina is slow and weird, and she most certainly is, but she's also a charmer (although her charms are largely ignored by the humorless Zampanò). The two set off on a tour, traveling from village to village. Zampanò treats Gelsomina like a dog, even as she tries desperately to relate to him on some level. Things only get worse when they join a traveling circus. Il Matto, the highwire act and circus fool, takes great pleasure in teasing and torturing Zampanò. Il Matto is a multi-talented and gifted circus performer who sees Zampanò for the great, lumbering humorless bore that he is, and rides him mercilessly (he admits he cannot help himself, that he's driven to mock Zampanò, even at his own peril). Gelsomina seems a cross between Harpo Marx and Lucille Ball, all exaggerated facial expressions and wide eyes (the term "Chaplin-esqe" has also been used to describe her). Anthony Quinn's Zampanò is the beastlike man, slow-witted and perpetually angry, and yet the entire world seemingly revolves around him, or at least answers to his beck and call. Il Matto is just as mean to Gelsomina as Zampanò is, but his viciousness is less potent. Both Zampanò and Il Matto act out in impotence, Il Matto because he feels physically inferior and Zampanò because he feels mentally inferior. They're two opposing forces who must always fight one another. The film's title translates into "the road" in english, and La strada is definitely a journey. It represents the journey into adulthood where we destroy our childish things. We can't run away from life forever, eventually the road comes to an end.
arashxak
Super Reviewer
½ October 12, 2008
The best I've seen by Fellini
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2007
No question, this is my favorite Fellini. Masina is always good, but she truly shines in this one. I've seen terms as unkind as "retarded" and as kind -- if you can call it kind -- as "simple" used to describe her character here. Flixsters, I'm here to argue that her character is neither retarded nor simple, and is certainly not "addle-brained." Up to the point of the murder, Gelsomina is what I would call innocent. The word "sophisticated" used to mean something quite unlike what it means today. Nowadays, when we say someone is sophisticated, we are generally being complimentary. We mean that this person is quite worldly wise. Originally, however, if you were labeled sophisticated, the connotation was not flattering. If you were called sophisticated, it meant that you were viewed as, roughly, being "ruined by the world." Your innocence was far behind you. You were damaged goods, and irreparably so. So up to the point where Quinn murders Basehart, Gelsomina is innocent in the ways of the world, lacking in life experiences which disabuse us of our innocence. But from that point on she is ruined by the real world, sophisticated in the truest sense of the word, irreparably damaged by that experience. It is her psychic state post-murder that might -- might -- be termed "addled." Quinn is great in this one, and Basehart is astonishing. If you only ever see one Fellini, flixsters, this is the one I'd strongly recommend.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2007
Fellini's biggest achievement. a profoundly sweet and moving masterwork. exceptional performances, soundtrack, screenplay, direction. overall astonishing in every department.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2007
gutsy, powerful, tender, romantic, and true, sadly true, a story of the inhabitants of a lonely planet on the edge of the galaxy, their dreams and disappointments, their lives in the dirt...untouchable.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2007
This is a beautiful, tragic piece of filmmaking. This is the first Fellini film I have seen, but I can see just from this why he is considered one of the masters. His direction is just so brilliant in this. Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina were incredible - I loved Masina's energy and expressions. It's a great, great story with great acting and direction, it's just perfect, more or less.
Super Reviewer
June 5, 2006
La Strada, which is the Italian word for The Road. Fedrico Fellini's best film. La Strada won the Academy Award for Best foreign film, even though it is far better than most English films. I shall never forget Masina's face, the most remarkable of faces, she performs a moving protryal, and Quinn is egqually unforgettable both actors make the film crackle with their chemistry. La Stada is one of the most beautiful films and one of the most tragic films ever.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2007
The performances are wonderful from the three main characters, so the humor and tragedy is believable. Fellini is beginning to move away from his early influence by the Italian neo-realism movement. Parts still owe something to neo-realism, but other parts are a bit more fantastical. With these Italian pictures of the 40's and 50's audio tracks were not recorded simultaneously with the film, so whether the audio is changed to English dialog or is heard in the original Italian, it is all dubbed. I noticed more with this movie than some other Italian films I've seen from around this time that the dialog and trumpet and violin audio and video don't quite line up. I expect a little more from listening to the original audio on the collector's edition I viewed, but I suppose that was just the technology of the times and it contributes to the fantasy aspects of the story.
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2013
Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina is absolutely incredible in this tale of a traveling carnival with a dark side. Heart felt and poignant.
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2012
The main problem in Fellini's La Strada is the annoying main character. She was like an annoying Charlie Chaplin, I understand Fellini wanted a naive character but why annoying.
This is definently the weakest film of Fellini I've seen. The imagery was superb but the concept was not. A long sad story that ultimately led to something very disappointing. You'd expect Fedrecio to have a trick up his sleeve, but he just made you feel like he had one.
GS
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2012
The two leads give great performances. The film however is ineffective at times and not as powerful as Nights of Cabiria. The circus scenes lag a little and the symbolism is very in your face. This is a good early effort from Fellini though as he would incorporate many stylistic features in his later films.
Page 1 of 50