M S Krishna Prateek’s review published on Letterboxd:
"But he's a saint, an angel!"
"You, you're an angel, a saint."
A grounded humane masterpiece from Fellini with the showcase of a variety of his initial techniques forming the now renowned Felliniesque style he went on to cultivate later, i.e., in 8½ from what I saw. Similar to how Marcello Mastroianni hides behind his sunglasses in 8½, here the same sunglasses rhetoric is used strikingly in a crucial scene!
After watching the film, I came to know that Giulietta Masina is the wife of Federico Fellini and I was like okay so that's the matter then because seriously one can't extract such a performance out of an actor unless there is so much understanding and I'm happy for Masina who found true love in real life although she didn't find it in this reel life as Cabiria.
Masina as Cabiria radiated so much charisma, positivity even during her negative times with loads 'n' loads of innocence enhanced by those highly expressive Disney Princess-esque eyes and despite playing an aged woman, Masina made Cabiria look so childlike to an extent that, deep inside, she was as pure as she was at 18 indeed! Carrying happiness or sadness to perfection one at a time on the face itself is a big thing and then there is Masina in this film who crowned both of these contrasting jewels on her eyes and cared for them like a baby without letting them slip at any point of time despite her character slipping many times while travelling on the slippery slope of true love. This film wouldn't have been what it is if not for this balancing act of Masina and one has to watch to experience this, especially her expressions during the climax... "I'm still deeply touched" and "I can't even express it".