"Think of yourselves as the carrier pigeons of today!" instructs the manager of a bicycle delivery service. A young man from the country named Guei works diligently at this new job, eager to pay off the company bicycle an... more »d make it his own. But just before his last payment, the bicycle is stolen and he's fired--but if he can find it again, he'll get his job back. The emotional stakes of Beijing Bicycle become amazingly gripping: after Guei accidentally discovers that the bike now belongs to a young student who bought it used, a fight over the ownership of the bicycle becomes downright harrowing, for the student has a secret that threatens to humiliate him. Beijing Bicycle ranges from a light portrait of the kinetic poetry of a bicycle in motion to a raw examination of violence driven by envy and guilt. A beautiful, wrenching movie. --Bret Fetzer« less
If you really want something different see this film!
EMMETTJAMES MCLEAN | San Francisco, CA United States | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is amazing ... Panaramic shots of hundreds of bicycles parked in Beijing. Shots of brand new *huge* high rise apartment buildings.
Much larger than anything you've ever seen in the US.
Amazing. Bicycle chase sceens in the old streets of Beijing. Oh, so the sceenery is so beautiful. It's a pleasure to see something
different from the cookie cutter world we know in the US.
No Starbucks, McDonalds, or Walmarts. ...One thing I really enjoyed was the director's use of
symbolism. There's a clip where every time a certain
young woman walks by you hear her clop-clop high heals.
I can't say too much with out giving away some of the
fun but it is really suprising how such a subtle
effect can turn out to be so powerful!The casting was great. The acting was so good that a
during the beginning of the film I thought I was
watching a documentary.Anyone whose spent a period of his life where $10 is a lot
of money can relate to the events and charactors in the film. The story is about the incredible struggle for
human dignity in the face of inhumanizing poverty.I loved it!"
Excellent Coming of Age film!
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 08/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beijing Bicycle is the Chinese version of the Italian film Bicycle Thief, and with this in mind the audience should not be disappointed. The story is about two teenagers who live in Beijing. One of the teenagers has just arrived from the countryside and the other has lived in the city his whole life. A social economic message is delivered through these two teenagers, an owner and a thief of a mountain bike, and is intertwined with adolescent obstructions of coming to age. Overall, this is a solid film experience."
Victor Bloom MD | grosse pointe, MI USA | 09/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I identified strongly with the struggle of the two teenagers, which took the concrete form of fighting over the bicycle. There was one scene in which the middle class boy and his gang struggled to wrest the bicycle from the peasant boy's grip, but after hours of struggle, they were unable to. Somehow it was understood that they would not kill the boy and so the peasant boy hung on to it by sheer grit and determination, which as portrayed seemed almost superhuman.
Somehow, knowing the Chinese (communist) mentality to a degree, I knew there had to be a strong underlying message, and sure enough, it came through to me that was this---- that peasant strength was more than equal to the more effete efforts of the middle class, the bourgeoisie. The message went beyond the ideological, but was also strongly socio-economic and psychological; the peasant boy's motivation for advancement, opportunity and freedom from poverty, was stronger than the middle class boy's motivation, merely to have a bicycle with which to impress his girlfriend and keep up with his peers.
The middle class boy was shown to be a liar and a thief, disrespectful of his hardworking father. His rage was somehow understandable as his sibling, a younger sister, was seen as getting more advantage in schooling. The father promised the son a bicycle, but instead spent the money on a private school for the girl. That was a typical middle class family conflict, not as serious or severe as the peasant boy's drive to escape poverty. The bicycle was his key to financial independence, while for the middle class boy, he stole the bike and lied about it, a moral weakness which came from his 'easy' life and relative indulgence.
Another political message came through subliminally, that the middle class boy didn't deserve the bike because he was morally corrupt. It is as if being middle class automatically makes a person morally corrupt, and yet his rage was equal to that of the peasant boy, who felt cheated. robbed and denied a chance to escape poverty.
The peasant boy's morality was shown to be on a higher plane, as he finally consented to use the bike on alternate days. That was the compromise which came from the near-death battle in the streets, one peasant boy against a multitude of middle class boys. There seemed to be a peace and accord for a time, but toward the end, the middle class boy wanted the bike all to himself and fought almost to the death for it.
Finally the two boys were both bloody and beaten, the bicycle bent and broken, but the peasant boy limped back to work with the frame, as if to repair it and own it at all costs. It ended almost as if the message was that the human condition cannot be overcome, that there will be endless competition, struggle and suffering, as long as there are haves and have-nots.
I found the struggle emotionally gripping on many levels, the truths piercing and vital, so I cannot understand how it was that so many critics were unmoved."
You've never seen stubborn or determined ....
Rudolf Spoerer | Weston, FL United States | 04/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"until you see this movie. I mean the viewer practically squirms in their setas as they see the main character with dogged determination declare and demand ownership over a bicycle that he had paid for little by little as a messenger in downrown Beijing .... It's not your usual movie fare and any reveiwer that says they've been to this bustling city that wakens slowly every morning and could not idently with our main characters plight, don't know what they are talking about .... It's a wonderfull and thought provoking film of dogged determination ... something we see so little of today!"
Bicycle built for one-shared by two
vanhubris | Verona Beach, NY | 08/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie centers on the controversy over ownership of a bicycle which both owners have paid for. Guei--a poor country boy had legitimately paid for the bike out of his earnings as a courier--and just as he makes the last payment--the bike is stolen by a person who's never revealed--who then sells the bike to a used bicycle store where Jian puchases the same bicycle with money stolen from his father. While Jian's claim seems phony--since he purchased stolen goods--he and his bully friends want to invalidate Guei's claim, by force if necessary. Eventually a compromise is reached--the bicycle will be shared with each having possession on alternate days--a very unfair compromise-due to Guei's authentic claim and purchase as well as the fact that he actually needs the bicycle for his job-while Jian merely wants the bike to cruise with his friends and impress a girl. This movie may sound banal in description-but it's actually very well done and quite entertaining. Some reviewers seem to want to impose their own perceptions of propaganda into this story--but anyone who's ever known the poverty of Guei will understand his commitment to finding and keeping his bicycle--it's as simple as that! An excellent movie--probably fine for all ages--but there is a brief nude scene with Guei--for those who find such things offensive (no frontal nudity!) and there is some violence-though relatively mild by current standards Subtitled in English well worth purchasing"