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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Le Gamin au vélo- The Kid with a Bike (2011)

The Kid with a Bike. What if that is all it is about?

French filmmakers seem to rely on the beauty of simplicity. I’ve not seen too many French movies but I have seen enough to spot a resemblance. Their style of filmmaking is minimalistic. There’s nothing colourful about their movies. You cannot split them into physical elements (cinematography, editing, direction) and appreciate them. Neither can you single out any particular aspect for having a particularly stronger effect on you and go on about it. Their characters, normal human beings whom you can easily relate to. Their stories, earthly. Not of a man that’s caught in a sticky situation, not of the underdog that goes from rags to riches, not a twisted story that frightens yet pulls you in. There’s nothing cinematic here, no do or die.

The Kid with a Bike is the kind of story you might hear from a friend and remember it only because it is the story of your friend. The filmmakers here are successful at acquainting, and connecting, you with its lead character. You don’t need to do more for a film such as this, which succeeds in its entirety.

Ten-year old Cyril is in search of his bike, sold off by his father. A father who has abandoned him at an orphanage. That’s all that there is to its premise.

Every frame of this movie sent a wave of thoughts through my head. You simply cannot take your eyes off this magnificent creature brimming with inexhaustible energy. His antics, ranging from simply cycling quickly to beating two men with a baseball bat fascinate that side of you that needs to see it to believe it. You detest his father immediately because you know he’s for real. It is one thing to empathize with a character; it is a whole other thing to hate every character who comes in his way, with a vengeance. The Kid with A Bike takes turns between wrenching your heart and your gut. When things begin to look up and the bad phase of this kid’s life appears to have ended, you want the movie to end too. Because anything, just anything is possible in the life of this unpredictable human being.

Congratulations to the Dardenne brothers who've crafted a wonderful film that’s rapid and steady just like the kid is with his bike.

Rating- 10/10


  1. Nice work..

    Sounds like a film inspired by 'The Bicycle Thief'. The minimalism, the kid, the bike, the father ;)?

    I hope the DVDrip gets up on torrents soon.

  2. Terrific review. Loved that first paragraph. I might check this one out. Come to my blog sometime man.

  3. Wow. Seems something quite special. I'll check it out as soon as possible. Superb review.

  4. very well written Rohit, it drives home the point. Keep it up.

  5. Jean Pierre et Luc DardenneJanuary 6, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    Sorry to burst your bubble. We're not French, we're Belgian and we make Belgian films. Not French.

  6. I like your analysis, Rohit. After you watch some of these French movies, you want to recommend them to friends but when they ask what the movie is about, a simple plot description doesn't cut it.

  7. Thank you.

    Grouch, that's true. Lol.

  8. sounds like a brilliant film, Rohit, great review


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