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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Bicycle Thief review

The legendary Bicycle thief  Ladri di biciclette by director Vittoria de silva is a textbook for movie makers falling in the classic mode of Satyajith Rays Pather Panchali and such greats .
 This Italian Black and white film was in my list to be seen movies for a long time ,at last I did see it today and it left an indelible impression in  my mind .
The script is very simple ,the protagonist living in the hard times in post world war Rome  is able to acquire  a job of sticking posters which was something to be proud of but unfortunately his bicycle which is needed for the job is pawned ,his wife decides to pawn her dowry bed sheets which are valuable heirlooms for any women and thus he gets his bicycle in return
on the very first day of his job the bicycle  gets stolen .
 The rest of the movie is all about the search for his stolen bicycle in the dreary city accompanied by his small son Bruno  as he was bound to lose his job without a bicycle .
The son and father travel to a market where one could possibly find stolen items but though they almost find a similar bicycle its serial number is different ,then Antonio suddenly sees the thief talking to an old man but as soon as he is chasen thief gets away  ,then the father son get hold of the old man in a church with a lot of confusion and try to trace the thief who escapes into a brothel from where Antonio extricates him but a crowd gathers and the thief suddenly develops seizures and there is a lot of sympathy for him .
while the hostile crowd narrow upon Antonio clever Bruno somehow brings a police officer and he tries to check the thief's house but finds no proof of any stolen cycle .
In this stressful time Antonio even hits his son once and then to condone his act takes him to an expensive restaurant to buy him food which he could ill afford ,there is a scene when he loses his son and fears of his being drowned in a river but luckily it turns out to be someone else
finally Antonio is frustrated at his plight and sees everyone moving around with cycles ,he tries to send off his son in a tram and tries to steal another bicycle in desperation but is caught by the crowd and trashed ,his son comes to his aid and seeing the small boy the owner lets them go ,the final scene is a weeping father led by his small son walking into the horizon
this movie which got so many awards including the Academy awards is one of neorealism where untrained actors where all actors were non professionals
Antonio was really a factory worker and young Bruno was just a small boy who galked at the shooting
to make such untrained people act in locations shoots shows the skill of the director
A movie that makes you feel sad and happy in turns with such a simple story
not to be missed at all


കിനാവള്ളി said...

Interestingly, there is even a 'god woman' in this film. Ask her a straight question and you would get an answer that can be interpreted in any way you want. Just like many of the so called saints today. The movie is action packed and visually satisfying.

harimohan said...

Yes true the God women gives cryptic answers which could be convinently for her intrpreted any way

Ramesh said...

A minor, but important, correction.
Director's name is: Vittorio De Sica.


Maddy said...

saw this many years ago - and hardly a memory of it remains - have to see it again.

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