In Fellini’s semiautobiographical masterpiece, five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the pool hall.
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One of the key works of art focused on drifting, wayward young men post-WWII. In a weird way, Fellini's quasi-autobiographical account isn't a million miles off from Kerouac. It is hard to say for sure if Fellini is impassively calling it like he sees it, or consciously mounting a critique of himself and his fellows. Ultimately this is a pretty dark portrait of callowness and ennui, even if a little wistful.
Fellini's third feature tells an universal story of five men and lifelong friends whose lives seem to have stagnated before they've really begun. The roles may fit stereotypes but Fellini's script has an authenticity and understanding of his characters that hits home. Casting is exceptional as these men/children at least attempt to mature. ' In the end only one of us left...'
8 1/2's liveliness makes it my favorite Fellini, but I Vitelloni is the more touching and tender film. Just as Marcello in La Dolce Vita wanted art and journalism and Guido in 8 1/2 wanted success and honesty, Moraldo, who's name is clearly a stupid pun, is envious of a lifestyle he doesn't want to lose yet and respectful towards another one he'll have to eventually embrace which all leads into a bittersweet ending.
What a beautiful film with honest characters and an honest story. It is completely timeless and comes from such a personal, sincere place that I am sure everyone can see a bit of themselves in one or more of these characters.