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Unintentional cry fest

February 12, 2012

Spoiler: If you have NOT seen the Bicycle Theif and are planning to, don’t read this!
If you have seen it or just don’t care, proceed.

The Bicycle Theif.

Easily, the saddest movie I’ve seen in a long time. Not because anyone dies, or  because of forbidden/unrequited love, but because the movie’s end is realistic.

Life is not fair.

The guy needs a job, gets a job; needs a bike for the job, gets a bike for the job ONLY to have it stolen and never find it.

…what was that term I learned in Tragic Vision class? Catharsis? Yeah, doesn’t happen here. If anything the emotions have piled up and are searching for a release!

I thought the movie was building to a grand, triumphant ending where finally, Antonio Ricci finds the guy who stole his bike and the bike and can return to work to support his poor Italian family. But when the Fin appeared on the screen after he attempted to steal another person’s bike out of desperation, I looked over to mom and said, really? It’s done?

I was shocked. I really was. I didn’t see it coming.

But maybe that’s why Arthur Miller wrote the forward for the movie. Maybe it’s because he saw how realistic the plot, characters, situation and the-like was and felt an internal desire to comment on the brilliance of this black and white movie.

I remember my teacher talking about this movie in class when we were discussing Freud. The bicycle is according to my teacher, a phallic symbol and a representation of manhood (if ya know what I mean…)

So when the thief steals  Antonio’s bike, it’s a metaphor for stolen manhood. Stolen pride. And he searches everywhere,tries everything to find what was stolen from him.

I think we can all relate to Antonio’s desperation.

And now that I think back to it, the fact that he didn’t find his bike (although totally against what normal movie standards is- that feel-good happy ending) provides a quiet commentary on the hardships of life.

I believe the movies main idea isn’t “get what’s yours” but “how you react, and what you do, given the circumstances you find yourself in”. When Antonio almost got thrown in jail for stealing another person’s bike, the owner of the bike let him free because he saw how sad Antonio’s son Bruno was, how disappointed he was in his father. It was the ultimate slap in the face for Antonio.

It’s inevitable that bad times will come around, they always do. But it’s how you approach them that matters the most.

Sidenote: HOW cute was Bruno?!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. chandlerswainreviews permalink
    February 12, 2012 7:32 pm

    Nice piece. Have you seen “Shoeshine”?

    • February 15, 2012 4:52 pm

      No I haven’t. And if it’s anything like The Bicycle Thief, I wont be able to watch it for a while haha

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