Neorealism Strikes

So I’m going to start doing a weekly movie review… I guess i’ll make it every Wednesday. It’s fun for me because I watch too many movies and maybe you’ll like it too. So this week I started with The Bicycle Thief of course! Forgive me I dorked out a little bit but enjoy!

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It’s hard to watch a movie that has a lot of buzz and Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief is definitely one of those movies. I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to watch it after university film departments and critics worldwide have been raving about it since 1948. I admit that I watched it just to see what the big deal was. I think I was expecting something a bit more, but that being said the movie seems just as relevant now as it did in 1948.

The film is about a fathers struggle to provide for his family during economic hardship. He lands a job where the one thing, the one prerequisite, is that he should own a bicycle, which as the title suggests is the one thing that is taken from him.

We watch as he and his son struggle to remedy this problem. They wander the streets of Italy meeting disappointment after disappointment in an attempt to find the bike and keep the highly coveted job.

The film is not optimistic. Forgive me for indulging in cliché but the film is about this man’s futility. The film does not seem to be condemning the system nor does it seem to be condemning humanity as we are shown several instances of human compassion towards the father and the son. More so, the blame seems to be with circumstance. Even the father states that he feels like he is trapped, that he is cursed. The movie seems to be a visualization of pessimistic determinism.

The Bicycle Thief is a solid film. It stands the test of time and the reason it does is because it’s honest. The style of the movie lacks a certain Hollywood flare that only aids the believability of the content and leaves you feeling like you are reading from the pages of a Stephen Crane or Theodore Dreiser novel.

So, for a good time, don’t watch this movie. The Bicycle Thief does however possess some un-ignorable depth, which in a sea of films makes it stand out as great.

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