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Happy as Lazzaro Netflix – Review

Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro Felice, in the original) is practically an Italian fable that uses biblical characters to deliver an actual, very important message for our society. Cinema is not always just fun, entertainment – it is also a way of passing on ideals, as well as denouncing everyday situations that we often don’t even realize is happening. This is a movie that has a soul (watch here).

The director Alice Rorhwacher, well known in the art and festivals (mainly European) circle, brings here a touching and beautiful story with a sensational message. The biblical adaptation is free, meaning that you shouldn’t expect to find here a religious representation of Lazzaro. Far from it. Only the idea – and some situations – are used as a starting point to provoke thought in the viewer. It is a feature carved with care, with above average performances that bring a deep reflection – when not bringing tears.

A common guy

The story follows Lazzaro, a teenager who is considered an idiot by everyone, but who is simply a pure, kind and happy boy. He doesn’t see the evil in people, and so he trusts everyone. This makes him practically enslaved by his family and by a Marquise, whom he serves with fidelity, even if being the one who most oppresses him with her attitudes. Lazzaro has almost no facial expressions, always seeming to be oblivious to what happens around him. However, on the inside, he’s paying attention to everything. With several bad things going on in his life, he still manages to smile and be optimistic, even after a tragedy that ends up changing his life forever.

As you can see, the story of Happy as Lazzaro Netflix is more allegorical than literal. The main character, Lazzaro, is interpreted on point by a rookie named Adriano Tardiolo. Saving on facial expressions, he delivers a physical performance, giving his everything to pass an image of a guy who can be mistaken for stupid, but who holds in himself a kindness that no one can corrupt. Lazzaro is exploited by everyone, even the people he looks upon, like his family and a friend, who happen to be the son of the Marquise, named Tancredi. This one, which is interpreted by Luca Chikovani, also delivers a minimalistic, somewhat seductive performance, hiding his real intentions with a layer of charisma.

It is important, however, to highlight the performances of two great actresses, that here play minor roles, but that steal the scene whenever they appear: Nicoletta Braschi – known as the wife of Roberto Benigni and who worked alongside him in the amazing “Life is Beautiful” in the late 90’s – plays a rare, quite moving, dramatic role. Alba Rohrwacher, sister of the director Alice, is fantastic in a heavyweight role in the plot; however, revealing it here can spoil the experience of watching this sensitive and masterfully executed movie.

Kindness still exists

Awarded as the best screenplay at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, Happy as Lazzaro is a tale about how goodness still exists, even though people see it as dumb or naive. Lazzaro likes to make other people happy, even if it doesn’t bring him any benefit, except seeing a smile on their faces.

This causes people to exploit the boy. We have a veiled battle between human wickedness and Lazzaro’s kind soul, and this is very well represented here. It is an art film, carefully constructed and, in the end, it lifts our spirits. A must-watch movie, at last.

You can also like Rajma ChawalThe TribeThe Ballad of Buster ScruggsThe Other Side of the Wind and Been So Long.

Trailer and additional information about Happy as Lazzaro Netflix

Synopsis 1: His innocent nature is a bit of magic in a bleack landscape. And his loyalty transcends the bounds of time.

Synopsis 2: Purehearted teen Lazzaro is content living as a sharecropper in rural Italy, but an unlikely friendship with the marquise’s son will change his world.

Age rating: 12;

Release year: 2018.


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