Review: The Life Ahead is very dull

It doesn’t deserve the hype


Photo Ethan Adair, Netflix

A still from 2020’s “The Life Ahead,” released on Netflix on Nov. 6.

Sarai Cochran, Staff Writer

“The Life Ahead” is a comforting, captivating, tear-jerker. The Italian movie keeps you intrigued and tells a beautiful story like no other, but doesn’t deserve the hype and the 7/10 rating as people and Netflix make it out to be.

The PG-13 film represents the struggle and obstacles each character goes through. The newly released movie shows real-world situations representing how people’s lives change in a good way. It brings everyone’s struggles and encounters into one, which is an amazing thing.

Mohamed, known as Momo, is a 12 year old orphan who bounces around from house to house, but is mostly lives in foster care. With a deceased mom and a dad in jail, he doesn’t have anyone but himself. He steals to make money and deals drugs. A particular woman he steals from is Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who adopts kids. A social services director convinces Rosa to take care of Momo. While settling in, they create an unbreakable bond as Momo takes care of her.

Momo lives with one other foster kid named Iosif. They don’t like each other at first but soon start to come together until he finds his biological mom and starts living with her. He also lives with Rosa’s friend Lola, who is an ex-boxing champion. She’s also a prostitute, so sometimes she’s gone for days or nights, and Madame Rosa takes care of her baby, Babu.

Momo has had a rough childhood. Even though he’s rude and disrespectful he likes to stay to himself. There was a part in the movie where he leaves the house at night to deal drugs; later, Iosif finds out what he does. Momo threatens that if he snitched he’d slit his throat. This is a sixth grader threatening to kill a little kid, which is so crazy.

Later in the movie, Momo works for a store owner who is good friends with Madame Rosa. He at first obviously doesn’t like the store owner, but later opens up. The store owner asks questions and school comes up. Momo says that he got kicked out of school because he stabbed a bully in the neck with a pencil. I thought it was so sad when seeing that, because he didn’t have anyone to set him on the right path in making decisions.

I really like how Momo doesn’t have a filter. He doesn’t pretend to be happy or sad. When he’s happy it shows and it’s not forced. One moment I liked in the film is when his drug dealer gave him some money to spend on himself. He decides to buy a motorbike and he was really happy and bubbly. I liked seeing the main character actually happy not worrying about anything that was happening especially when seeing him mad and rude all the time.

Madame Rosa has also been through a lot, and struggles with past trauma and flashbacks. The thing I absolutely love about Madame is that even though at first she was hesitant to bring Momo in, she let him in with open arms. Even though he did the things he did, she was still there for him.

Some things I thought would’ve been better was Rosa could go more into detail and specifics about what happened to her. I personally am interested in learning about the Holocaust and about what happened, and I thought she would tell a whole story about what happened.

Madame Rosa is sometimes mentally not there. There was a time when she randomly ran into her room and locked it yelling and screaming packing her bag because she thought that the Germans were coming to kill her and her family. I felt really bad for her. She not only has to hold herself up but has to take care of two foster kids, one of which was for a favor for a friend.

Something else I thought would’ve been nice is seeing where Momo was later in life, just like the title “The Life Ahead” implied. I wanted to see where other characters like Lola and Babu were in their life in the future.

The movie is just not as exciting and enthusiastic as I thought it would be. It’s a movie that shows that even though it may be hard with life-changing moments, the people and environment can change someone into a better person. Overall, I believe that this movie could’ve been better in many, many different ways. I’d give the movie a 5/10. It’s an exceptional movie to watch if you want to hop on the bandwagon, or just want something to watch on the weekend.