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Film Review: “The Life Ahead” (2020)


Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is no such promise that life will be easy. Nothing is presented on a silver platter for us. Each opportunity must be earned and even worked hard for. Sadly, when hardship hits the younger generation, they forget about everything not realizing that this is a temporary obstacle they must overcome before seeing what is in store for them in life ahead.


“The Life Ahead” marks the third collaboration between writer/director Edoardo Ponti and his legendary mother, a movie icon with the name that rings louder than any thunderstorm – Sophia Loren. Adapted from Romain Gary’s novel, “The Life Before Us”, and set into the modern era, the movie follows an elderly woman named Madame Rosa and a young Sudanese boy, Momo, who must learn to live together.


Momo is an orphaned boy who would rather live in the street than with the lady, who has her own rules at home. Loren’s Madame Rosa is an Auschwitz survivor and former prostitute who now takes care of children like Momo. When her doctor asks her to look after the boy for two months, both, with uncontrollable tempers, must tune themselves in order to realize the needs of one another. Under Rosa’s protection, Mohammad begins seeing himself from a different perspective, learns making clean money, and be kinder and gentler than he was before.


“The Life Ahead” is a stunningly beautiful Italian drama that gets brighter and shinier with the appearance of Sophia Loren. With her poignant and subtle performance of Madame Rosa, there is never any doubt regarding Loren’s ability to capture the complexity of the character she portrays with enviable ease. As for Ibrahim Gueye as Momo, the young actor does his best to deliver the performance of a lifetime along with a true icon, without losing a glimpse of his truly rich character.


That said, “The Life Ahead” is one of those films that teach us to be perseverant, kind, respectful one to another, and patience. We can’t expect each person appearing before our door will meet our expectations. But with the proper will and desire, even the most unbeatable moment will turn into an easygoing day with nothing to worry about. At the end of the day, we all have a path to go through and a bridge to cross because the life of ours now and what lies ahead of us might be different. But what we do now will shape our future and “The Life Ahead” shows us exactly how.

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