English 111 1230
The Bicycle Thief tells the story of Italian Antonio Ricci who just wants a job to support his wife and two children and will go great lengths to get one. Living in post WWII Rome, finding a job comes with great difficulty until Ricci gets a job but has to have a bicycle. Ricci and his family are then forced to pawn off their bed sheets to purchase a bicycle. On Ricci’s first day of work, his bicycle is stolen. Ricci and his friends set off on the streets of Rome to find the thief only to be out of luck. They give up after hours of looking and the police didn’t even take the theft seriously. So desperate to find his bike, Ricci visits the fortune teller he mocked because his wife visited her to see if he would even get a job. He is told that he will either find the bike soon or not at all.
Ricci finds the boy who stole his bike and confronts him. The boy denies committing the crime and the police tell Ricci that they cannot help him because he did not catch the boy red-handed. Ricci is now at a loss of all hope to support his family. As Ricci looks upon rows and rows of bicycles outside a football game, he ponders on stealing a bicycle for himself. Walking past an apartment, he steals a bicycle. Ironically, he is seen stealing the bicycle. The owner does not press charges because he sees how upset this situation makes Ricci’s son. The film ends with Ricci and his son holding hands in tears with probably the thought of where they will get their next meal from.
I think that The Bicycle Thief demonstrates the real life of an average Italian during the post WWII era. All Ricci wants is a job and so does everyone else in Rome. Therefore, any job is a job. I like how the film demonstrated the continuing cycle of theft. Ricci’s bicycle was stolen probably by a poor person who needed it for a job too. Motivated by desperation, Ricci steals a bicycle himself. His bike was stolen, so he stole a bike; he continues the cycle. I also like the irony demonstrated when Ricci got caught stealing the bicycle. No one could do anything when he caught the person who stole his bicycle, but when he tries to steal one he gets caught. Overall, The Bicycle Thief was a slightly heartbreaking movie that I can appreciate.