The Europeans have an uncanny ability make magical films with children. The Kid With The Bike is one such film: the story of an eleven-year-old boy who is abandoned by his father and his struggle thereon!
The film begins with a boy in foster care (Cyril) looking for his bicycle and his lost father. Cyril is sharp, perseverant and strong. He escapes foster care, finds his father’s house, doesn’t believe anything until he sees it himself and goes a long way to find out the truth.
He is adorable, he makes you empathise with him and travel every inch that he travels on his bike. He makes you worry for him when you see him throwing himself into trouble and cry with him when he apologises in court. When he falls off the tree, you skip a heat beat and when he wakes up and rides off, you sigh in relief.
Samantha is introduced in a scene at a doctor’s where she tells Cyril “you can hold me if you wish but not so hard because you are hurting me.” She brings back his bicycle, he hosts him on weekends and even leaves her boyfriend who turns bitter about Cyril. She plays along with him, yells at him, calms him, cares for him and even once tries to her physical strength’s end to stop him from going the wrong way. When he hurts her and escapes, her helplessness translating to tears is as real as cinema can get.
Talking of gender stereotypes: All male characters are seemingly negative – The man in foster care is rough and only about business, Cyril’s father is nonchalant about his child, Samantha’s boyfriend is selfish and petty, the man who gets robbed (is forgiving in the beginning) but scheming in the end. On the other hand, Samantha (the only woman I noticed in the film) gives love, care and some money to take care of Cyril.
In all, The Kid with the Bike is the story of every little boy and girl, everywhere on earth and their own little struggles with life – highlight being the innocence we all would kill to have!