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Movie Review: The Kid With A Bike

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

"Don't be upset if it's not the way you dream it would be."

I didn't know much about this film before seeing it at an early screening last night. All I knew was Dardenne Brothers, Cannes winner, Frenchie, Boy, Bike. Well, that's enough for me! I adore french film and have always read about the Dardenne Brothers, but had yet to see one of their films. I thought I saw 'Rosetta' years ago, but I was confusing it for another film. That movie won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1999, the festivals top prize. Six years later they won again for L'Enfant (The Child). Last year The Boy With A Bike won second place, The Grand Prix at Cannes. These bitches are serious! So, when I received passes for the screening, I jumped on it.

And speaking of jumping, if you want to read my review of this practically flawless film and to watch it online for free, This is a film about a sad boy who yearns for the love of his dad. He may as well be an orphan. His weak father refuses him, to his face. It's tough to watch, but beautifully done. The film unfolds naturally, organically. There's very little music and the dialogue is used minimally. Nothing is extra here. There's a quietness to the film. An innerness, perhaps a reflection of the boy and what's inside him. He's struggling and doesn't know how to resolve his frustrations. He just wants his dad. We see his journey and his attempts to find peace with all the shit he has been handed. It may sound maudlin, but it never is. It's as real as real may ever be able to be in the cinema.

Something that struck me about the film and most foreign films-for that matter-is how the boy is portrayed. He doesn't see dead people, he doesn't smile and wink and look cute for the camera, he isn't obnoxiously precocious like children in so many American films. He is portrayed like a 12 year old boy. A boy who has real problems. He's without a mother, rejected by his father and living in a foster care facility. Without the experience of life to help guide him through his problems, he acts out. He hurts himself and others. He attacks. He retreats. He struggles at finding peace and because of this is unable to see what works in his life. We've all been there, as children or adults.

The filmmakers trust their material. They let it unfold, they respect the story, the characters within it, and the audience. If you watch this movie, I guarantee you will be moved by this boy and you will feel true empathy for him. Not because you were told to, but because you see yourself, or someone you love in him. It's impossible not to. We are all living life, no matter how big or small. Open or closed. The boy with a bike wants desperately to live life too.

You can watch the movie online for free here.

Philip Utley


Source: EzineArticles
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