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The movie ‘Bicycle Thieves’ which won several awards including the Academic Honorary award of 1950 depicts a magnificent picture withholding the comic or dramatic palliatives that another film might have introduced. The movie ‘Bicycle Thieves’ examines the question on whether poverty can influence someone into committing crimes of theft. Shot in1948 ‘Bicycle Thieves’ is an Italian movie that was directed by Vittorio de Sica. It provides a synopsis of a poor man who goes to the streets of Rome in search of his stolen bicycle. ‘Bicycle Thieves’ movie is centered on a story that goes by the same name written by Luigi Bartolini.
There are instances when the movie ‘Bicycle Theft’ focuses on melt down-economic crisis in Italy and the consequent unemployment in the aftermath of First World War. It symbolically reflects a society where poverty leads people into criminal activities. For instance, ‘Bicycle Thieves’ shows a period and region where no one seems to care about each other as every individual is engaged in his or her own problems.
The movie ‘Bicycle Thieves’ further offers deep reflections over the failure by governments organs in enforcing the law. For instance, when Antonio reports to the police about his stolen bicycle, the police act in a manner that shows little concern. All signs of humanity seem gone and the only sign comes in the end where after getting the thief of his bicycle, Antonio is reluctant to press charges against him, rather seems to pity the man. On a different level, it’s a movie that shows the relationship between a father and son. In this, a son who is adoration for his father is all of a sudden replaced with realism and less admiration: Antonio Bruno relationship.
In the movie ‘Bicycle Thieves’, comradeship is shown through Antonio and Bruno since they are always together in all scenes. It also shows some support and oneness through commitment of Antonio and Bruno. For instance, when Antonio realizes his bicycle is stolen, Bruno goes behind him all corners and nooks of the city of Rome as they find it. Before this, Bruno is shown as trying to be like his father. This is seen in the scene where Bruno is cleaning his fathers’ bicycle when Antonio is going to work for the first time. In this scene Bruno is wearing the same work clothes/ costumes besides getting same lunch as his father. Just like his father Antonio, Bruno puts his food in the breast pocket as they ride the bicycle. His face is full of contention and pride as his father has secured a job.
Antonio’s lateness in the evening of the same day affects Bruno’s admiration for his father .Little Bruno eagerly waits for his fathers’ return and as seen he gets frustrated by his father’s lateness as he had promised to be home early. On arrival, Antonio gives the reason for his lateness but unsatisfied Bruno just follows him as the little Bruno looks up to his father still wondering around his Bicycle.
In ‘Bicycle Thieves’ Young Bruno’s uncritical consent with his father’s authority is considerably disrupted at different points in the movie. For example, there is an instance when Antonio decides to mete out his frustrations on little Bruno by slapping him without reason or cause. This leads to Bruno trying all he can to refuse all visual contact with his father for a time spell. As he was walking ways Antonio tells him to go and wait him. Within a time span a boy falls in water which scares Antonio as he thinks if Bruno. This gives him a little humanity and he observes that his bicycle is not all the world has for him. Bruno stands more important that it. After this he takes Bruno to a restaurant from where he gains his sons respect once more. However, this restaurant gives Bruno a different picture of his father. The reality of their society is revealed to Bruno and observes that his father is not the great man he thought he was. This was after observing children from rich families eat expensive dishes.
The movie ‘Bicycle Thieves’ also provides a parent’s unrealistic shades on his child. For example, it shows Antonio overlooking his son Bruno. Despite Bruno hard work so that he can get noticed by his father, Antonio on the other hand is not observant to his son. In ‘Bicycle Thieves’ movie, this is well depicted when the child falls in the rain without the parents’ notice who is much engrossed in running so he can find from the rain. ‘Bicycle Thieves’ shows that upon rising up, the child brushes the mad off his clothes hard enough but his father does not notice. And once the child joins its parent the father is depicted to take time before inquiring where it was held. By the time Antonio realizes his son had fallen in the rain Bruno is so annoyed that he almost shouts at his father for overlooking him. This tendency continues all the way till in the end where Bruno is almost smashed by cars Antonio doesn’t notice as he was busy thinking about committing a crime. In short he just wants Bruno out of his way.
‘Bicycle Thieves’ also shows one point when Bruno came to realize that his father was not at all perfect. It in this time that he observes that his father is not at all better that the thief of the bike. Antonio finds the Bike and when his son Bruno sees him riding fast so as to avoid the chasing crowd he can’t believe his eyes. Although he is filled with horror, when the following crowd rounds up and gets his father Bruno does all he can to help his father. He strongly pushes away the crowd and finds his way to midst of the crowd. Bruno saves his father from arrest and more beating and humiliation. He saves his father because when the bike owner sees Bruno, he knows that his father Antonio is committing such an offence because of poverty and more so because he has a family to fend for.
In ‘Bicycle theft’ the child is presented to having effective and accommodative decisions when he acts as an adult and saves his father. Besides being seen as an adult, he is seen as a father figure. For instance, in the start of the film where he is cleaning the bicycle and fi9nds a dent on the it he wants Antonio to complain on the same but all that he father does is not to bother. As a father figure when he leaves the bedroom, Bruno carefully closes the bedroom window shutters in a bid to protect the baby from sun rays. It is also him who finds the policeman when they find that bicycle thief in Via Panico.
Throughout ‘Bicycle Thieves’, Bruno is also figuratively features as a shadow of his father as he is always seen hanging behind his father. This is a symbol that Bruno is indeed Antonio’s shadow. However, there are instances that Bruno who is the son is seen as the conscience of Antonio his father. Initially, Antonio is ignoring and overlooking his conscience-Bruno looking it from a Freudian stand point and only notices him when he shouts loud. As the movies come to an end Antonio tries to escape from his conscience when he tells Bruno to board the bus and they will meet later. All he does not want to be around him is his conscience as he plans to go and steal the bike. At the end Bruno cries upon realizing that he cannot run away from his conscience as Bruno saves him. Bruno forgives his father as he cannot denounce him like any other criminal as he is his father.
However, in ‘Bicycle Thieves’ even after all the encounters, Bruno’s father does not seem to have learnt a lesson because he doesn’t hold his son’s hand which almost costs the life of his son. This is depicted in ‘Bicycle Thieves’ through a scene showing Bruno escaping being knocked by a car. The narration ‘Bicycle Thieves’ is brilliant and indelicately superb work of art
As ‘Bicycle Thieves’ comes to the end, Bruno slips his hand into that of his father. This is an indication of offering his father a totally new relationship in which Antonio needs not to be perfect to be his father. This film broadly explores how poverty can lead to criminal offences. It also shows a father relationship to his son. All in all, the entire message passed was strong that poverty is a cause of criminal activities and however hard times may be one cannot ignore his conscience.