As a part of the ever-fun film study class, few days ago i had to watch and review an Italian neo-realist movie called Ladri di Biciclette. I watched a lot of French and Spanish movies before, but never Italian, so it was truly my first experience ever of watching Italian movie. so, i thought i would share my 2 pennies to you guys.
By showing this movie, our lector was trying to introduce us to the neo-realist movement in film industry that emerged right after the end of WWII. Italian neo-realist movies itself mostly highlight the poor socio-economic conditions especially in relations towards employment sector. That severe condition in Italy was pretty much the background setting of this movie, Ladri di Biciclette.
Ladri di Biciclette tells a story of a working class man named Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), a devoted husband and a proud father, who is trying to find his missing bicycle that was stolen on his first day of work. Along his journey to find his bicycle, he was accompanied by his son Bruno.
As a part of neo-realist movement, this movie really reflects the poor socio-economic conditions in Italy post-WWII and how it affects their people. One thing that you notice and really is the overall theme of the movie is how bad the unemployment rate back then. I mean, it was post-fascist era. People really struggled economically that even a bicycle was valued highly in everyday life. Bicycle really was everything for someone like Ricci because it means he could get a job, go to his job, and do his job, and i suppose it was a story of thousands other Italians at that time.
Interesting thing about the movie is that both the lead actors who play ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani) and his son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) were, instead of professional actors, literally snatched out of the street to be casted in order to give a certain credibility towards this movie and how it supposed to portray the struggle of everyday working men like ricci. As a new actors, i feel like they have a great chemistry. The best scenes out of this movie usually the one that involves the two of them and how they interact towards each other.
We could see at the end of the film that this movie was trying to send some kinda message that was very often found in any other italian neo-realist movies. It tried to set aside the idea of moral judgement in everyday life, because everybody must have certain reasons behind their conducts. In this case, people stole bicycle because they need to feed their family….i guess..?
To be perfectly honest i was expecting to be bored just by reading the movie summary. I mean, it’s a movie about a guy who tries to find his stolen bicylcle! a bicycle ! now that seems dull. But then again i didn’t know anything about neo-realist movie or even italian socio-economic conditions in that era before any of this. I wasn’t exactly jumping on and off out of my chair, but i did enjoy the movie. It is educational and moving. I would definitely recommend you to watch it, specially if you consider yourself a cinephile!
Happy Friday everyone !