Bicycle Thieves

Iconic cult classic “Bicycle Thieves” directed by Vittorio de Sica in 1948, an Italian neorealist film ranked as one of the greatest films of all time. The film derives its strength from its beautiful story told in a simple style. Its a post world war II Italy and work is hard to find. Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) gets an employment call to stick posters of an upcoming film, but he must have a bicycle of his own, otherwise he does not get the job. He has pawned his bicycle to meet ends of his family comprising of his wife Maria, son Bruno and a small baby. Maria manages to sell some quilts and get some money to release the bicycle. Antonio is happy with his bicycle and dreams of a big future giving comforts to his family. Unfortunately on the first day of the job itself, some one steals his bicycle and then its a desperate struggle to get it back, because he knows what it means to him and his family. Antonio does not give up the search and enlists the help of his friends to find the bicycle. The police is not of much help and neither he can spot his own bicycle in the second hand bicycle mart. As he gets one rejection after another, Antonio gets frustrated and sometimes angry at his son, for the bad luck that has befallen him. Lamberto has done a brilliant role as the angst ridden Antonio looking for his bicycle. The climax is very poignant. Both Lamberto and Enzo Staoila (Bruno, the boy) were non actors when they played this part. de Sica has used poor neighbourhood to shoot most of his shots and none of his shots were in studio. It was all realist portraying the poverty, grime and unemployment of the city in post war Europe. Many Indian film makers have been influenced by Vittoria de Sica including Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy both of whom showed poverty and angst in their movies. The film won the Golden Globe in 1949 for best foreign language film

1 Comment

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One response to “Bicycle Thieves

  1. Nice review for a film thai is a masterpiece!

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