Sunday, September 13, 2009

the bicycle thief

just watched the bicycle thief, aka the bicycle thieves or in italian ladri di bicciclette. what a frustrating movie. i thought it was good but i found myself so frustrated and upset at various points in the movie. i can't remember feeling that much sympathy for a character in a movie since...i don't know, rambo: first blood when he gets arrested for walking through a small town in washington state wearing an army jacket with a patch of the american flag and sporting a mullet. fucking cops! he just found out his vietnam buddy passed away and all he wanted was a good, warm meal.
if you haven't seen the movie i recommend it (yeah, first bood too). it is set in post-WWII Italy and basically shows how people dealt with the difficult economic conditions of that time; poverty and desperation. sort of similar to what some unfortunate people are going through at this time.
the movie begins with the protagonist getting a job wheat pasting posters around the city through what seems like the unemployment office and being told that it requires him having access to a bicycle. as a matter of fact he's told specifically "no bicycle, no job". the thing is that he pawned his bike to buy groceries for his family. he's naturally bummed and bitches to his wife about it so she takes the linens off the bed saying "we don't need sheets to sleep" and off they go to pawn the sheets. with that money he gets his bike back and up he is bright and early the next morning with his son to start his new job. he drops his son at his gas station job (yes, his 7 year old son has a job too) and he begins his work putting up posters of rita hayworth no less.
on his first day, boof, some kid steals his bike. he runs after him yelling "stop! thief!" but to no avail. no one helps either. so, after filing a report with the cops, he returns home that night super bummed but doesn't want to hear his wife nag so instead goes and consults this one buddy of his and he tells him about some markets around town where he might be able to find his bike cos one can sell or buy bike parts at these places. he goes with his son and after various false accusations, sightings of the kid that stole his bike but not being able to catch him, which contributes to some of the frustration of the film, almost getting beat up by a mob and smacking his son in the face out of sheer stress over his situation he gives up and decides to say "fuck it! lets get eat and get drunk!"and yeah, to his 7 year old son. they go into a restaurant, order some sandwiches and a bottle of wine and go at it for awhile.
at this point in the movie you start wondering, or atleast i did, why doesn't this dude just steal a bike. which he does but he gets caught by a slew of italian dudes in suits running after him (all of a sudden people care and intervene). how he cannot out run them on this bike i don't know. he doesn't get taken to jail because the owner of the bicycle takes pity on him on account of seeing this 7 year old, whose probably drunk at this point, crying at his pitiful father's leg. man, i was bummed for this guy. shit was really grim back then. and to top it all off, majority of italians portrayed in this movie sound like they could've been hanging at a random flea market in hialeah or little havana where someone is handing out free something or other: loud and annoying as fuck.
all in all it was a good movie. kind of a bummer but i say watch it if you haven't yet and if you don't mind old movies with subtitles. in other words, if you can read. but chances are if your reading this, your golden like mustard.

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