Its a poignant story about a father whose bicycle gets stolen. Antonio loses his only means of employment and in a sense himself. Without the bike his job, slapping paste on walls to hang posters advertising movies would no longer be his. After sacrificing all, he had for that bike back this added to the sympathy we felt for him. When the bike being stolen happened, you see a long shot of the chase. The police can’t help him find his bike, and he gives up.
In this scene, he confronts the thief, and this is where my heart breaks for him. We as the viewers know the kid stole the bike but when Antonio needed justice and help no one was there for him. He then seeks his own justice and yet again left astray. It’s heart wrenching and there are many themes to the simple story. Antonio is the provider of the family and is so caught up on the urgency of that, that he often looks past his own son, Brunos safety in search of his bike.
When Antonio himself becomes a bicycle thief, he is threatened not with the physical loss of his son but with the loss of his son’s admiration and respect. This scene saddened me because thats something no parent wants their child to see. Its overly consumed with pathos but isnt that the intention? To inflict pain amongst the viewers. The polarity between good and bad contently shift throughout the film.
The film makes it clear that neither people nor love are safe in a world of economic scarcity. The ending isnt happy like a typically Hollywood ending, it leaves you without resolutions, but ambiguity. This intense focus on an ordinary object distracts him from enjoying the rest of his life because in a way was the key to it. As seen in the scene when the man giving out jobs contrasted at a higher angle where a crowd of men are looking upward anxiously seeking the job. It shows the divide between the rich and poor. Another example of this is the long take when Antonio is pacing back and forth conflicting whether he should steal an unattended bike. He purposely tries to send Bruno away, so he does not witness him crossing the pole that hypothetical represents his morality in a time of desperation. This contrast adds to the theme of divide between the rich and poor and when he crossed that line us as viewers may have changed how we felt towards him. My feelings remained the same because that is something I would do in Antonios shoes. If I had a feeling that maybe I could also get away with stealing the bike and making a better living for my family, Id take the chance.