Alegria: An Enchanting Fable
This is an incredibly wonderful film. It will help if you see Alegria, the live performance version (available on DVD) first, but it's not absolutely required.
The film is a wonderful story of light vs. darkness, hope vs. sadness, and the very purpose of life itself.
(Alegria is a word which means "joy", and its said when someone is sad, as in "life must go on.")
A guy named Marchello buys a bunch of kids, offloading them from a railroad car into the back of a truck.
One of the kids has grown up and is telling his story to other people.
Someplace called the Cauldron where the kids are forced to work.
The person who befriended the storyteller when he was a boy. His name is Frack.
The group travels from city to city and tourists come to "see their misery."
Frack plans to commit suicide by being run over by a train, but his plan is stopped when the young kid shows up and lays down next to him. Frack saves the kid and leaps out of the way of the train just in time.
The train is a circus train. It stops and the people get out. One woman finds Frack, but he ends up running off.
Marchello. He forces some of the kids to grow flowers and the ones that are cute he sells to the tourists.
There is a place called the Café Opera for basically retired performers. Frack goes there and talks to the owner about love and later sees a huge billboard showing the girl from the train, the girl he had instantly fallen in love with.
Alegria is the name of the circus. Frack gets there and we see many of the people from the live version of the show and some of the props, including the bed, and hear some of the music.
The show starts with more of the material from the live version evident.
Frack makes his way on to the stage and the people in the audience think he's part of the show.
The boy runs off; Frack throws some cans around; the woman's father knows that love doesn't always have a happy ending, and some more snippets of performances.
Momo, the boy, waits until Marchello is gone then opens the door to where the kids are kept. They are reluctant to leave, though.
One single girl agrees to leave with him.
Things get even stranger.
More of the music from the live performance. Frank Langella plays the role of the sort-of main figure.
They have incorporated one of the actual routines from the live show.
The Frank Langella character stops them from kissing, turns the event into an impromptu part of the show, and demands that they must climb a mountain and fight a dragon before they can be allowed to fall in love.
She goes in search of Frack.
There's a philosophical explanation of the purpose of the show given by the Frank Langella character.
The show closes and the performers return to the streets.
Marchello captures the girl and Momo (the young boy).
Frack is going to confront Marchello.
The kids start to revolt.
The woman returns to the circus and her father and brings Frack, Momo and all the kids with her.
The kids take the seats in the stands and all the performers return to the circus.
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