A movie that touches the right chords

The French film, The Kid with a Bike was screened at International Film Festival ‘Film Harvest 2012’ in Bangalore.

Published: 26th March 2012 02:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 09:44 PM   |  A+A-


The French film, The Kid with a Bike, written and directed by siblings Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, was recently screened on the second day of the International Film Festival ‘Film Harvest 2012’, at UB City, Bangalore.

The film runs with a simple yet touching story of a 11-year-old troubled kid, Cyril, who is abandoned by his father and ends up turning to a woman for comfort and much needed affection. The story is real and makes you want to reach out to the kid every time he asks about his father.

The film starts with Cyril trying to flee the children’s home where he is temporarily put up under the care of counsellers. He tries to escape since he is unable to accept the fact that his father has left him and wants to find the truth himself. In an attempt to search for his father he manages to make it to his old apartment where he used to live, but is disappointed to find the house empty and his most prized possession missing — his bike.

While he is trying to escape his caregivers who come looking for him, he clings to a woman named Samantha, a hairdresser who is waiting in the medical room. She is touched by the child’s need and in an act of compassion, finds his bike and delivers it to his foster home. Cyril, who is craving for affection, asks Samantha if he could visit her on weekends and she happily obliges. She helps the child  track down his father, but when she gets to know that the father is not willing to have him back in his life, the rejection is heartbreaking and she fails to muster the courage to convey this to the young boy. The scene in Samantha’s car, when Cyril gets to face the bitter truth that his father doesn’t want him back and when he breaks down in Samantha’s arms, is especially shattering.

Cyril’s situation catches the attention of Wes, a local drug dealer who is always on the lookout for new kids to do his dirty work. The effortless manner in which the savvy drug dealer woos the troubled child is scary and shows how vulnerable kids are, and not just the ones grappling with abandonment issues. In a final desperate bid to get back to his father, Cyril offers him the proceeds of his first robbery, which is heart wrenching.

The only ray of hope for Cyril is the compassionate Samantha, played by the lovely Cecile De France, who portrays the other central character with finesse. The performances in the film are flawless; especially the lead character of ginger-haired Cyril played by Thomas Doret, which possibly couldn’t get any better. The desperation and helplessness portrayed by the child actor is heartbreaking.

Not a single shot or dialogue in the film seems wasted or unwanted and it perfectly showcases every child’s need for love and acceptance.

Alain Marcoen’s cinematography makes the movie believable, natural and Marie-Helene Dozo’s editing makes the transition from one scene to another smooth. This intensely moving drama adds another feather in the cap of the Belgian brothers who have dealt with the subject of an abandoned and uncontrollable child possibly on his way to self-destruction in a beautiful manner.

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