Sunday, September 12, 2010

There's a cure for everything except death.

No 194 - Ladri Di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thieves)
Director - Vittorio De Sica

A man has his bike nicked and then he and his son go and look for it.

I really don't have a lot more to say about this film. I only wrote about 4 lines of notes throughout it. I'll admit that there are a couple of things which did limit my enjoyment. Firstly, I don't know much (if anything) about Italy in the 40's - I'm aware they were probably suffering post war, but I don't know what the hardships were and as this film is very much about that era's financial struggles, I felt slightly out of the loop.I'm all up for films making you have to think, but I don't think you should have to do research before sitting down to watch a movie (although, I'm aware that at the time of release it was all culturally relevant)
Secondly - I don't know who does the subtitling for Arrow Films, but they seemingly assume that everyone must be able to speak SOME Italian. As for large chunks they wouldn't bother subtitling anything being said. So I sort of guessed some bits and just went along for the ride of a man looking for his bike.

I found most of the film quite dull - however Enzo Staiola shines as the son Bruno. He seems petulant and a bit camp and oh so very passionate about that bike. Throughout the film he shows far more of an emotional arc and a display of acting than the protagonist (Lamberto Maggiorani's Antonio) manages until the end.

It is an ending which is both unfortunate and inevitable and leaves the film ending on quite a powerful and bleak note.

If only the rest of the film could have had the drive and passion of those last few scenes.