Beijing Bicycle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beijing Bicycle Reviews

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March 8, 2015
Sad film in a lot of respects as the bicycle passes between the two boys, a symbol of social divides and the clasping onto hopes and dreams
April 9, 2013
We all know a bicycle can get us from point A to B, but this film tells us a tale how bicycle can get you to fall in love, help you find the truth of a mysterious girl, help you form a friendship, and get you into trouble that may cause you your life. A marvelous film.
January 22, 2013
Pretty good movie, really. Worth a viewing. I've been seeing a lot of Chinese films over the past few months and they've all been great, so... no complaints from me.
This movie is depressing as sin, but really good and the development of the characters is solid.
June 10, 2012
Un film ou personne n'est capable de prendre une decision intelligente...
May 6, 2012
Slow moving and not a whole lot of action. It's basically daily life of two boys and the dramas they experience, the only connection a bike. I'll still watch it despite the slowness of the movie.
½ February 12, 2012
depressing, but shows you the value of a simple bike to the urban poor in the developing world
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2011
Bought but not yet watched
February 18, 2011
Wang Xiaoshuai's "Beijing Bicycle"

With "Beijing Bicycle" comes another motion picture dealing with class structure and the economics of capitalism and communism. However, Wang Xiaoshuai's choice of repeating certain scenes along with long pauses without any dialogue works against the film rather than enhance it.

"Beijing Bicycle" is basically a retooling of Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief", one of the greatest films of all time. That latter, however, accomplishes far more in its 93-minute running time than Wang's meandering 113-minute effort. After a while, you almost want to talk back to the screen and say, "I got the message! Now, would you please move along?"

"Beijing Bicycle" is a nice effort but in the end overstays its welcome. The film could use a little more time in the editing room.
½ January 9, 2011
I really love the cinematography of this film. The lack of a resolution really shows the statement against the everyday bullshit that poor people face. I'm sure it's meant for China but the social statement resonates anywhere.
December 27, 2010
simple tale in the tradition of Zhang Yimou - nicely directed, well acted. warning: slow indie film. don't expect much in the way of entertainment - that is not the reason this was made.
November 22, 2010
A lowly rural newcomer to Beijing lands a job with a bicycle delivery service. Just as he is about to pay off the debt incurred for the company bike, it is stolen. Class differences in China are played out around the stubborn quest to reclaim said bike. This film is nothing to write home about, but it does have a certain charm to it. The central idea is solid, as is the execution - there isn't enough meat the bones though, there's a depth somewhere thats lacking. Nonetheless its very watchable and riffs off the the classical Italian art-house film 'The Bicycle Thief'
½ October 6, 2010
This is an amazing product of PRC, although so much symbolism were used, it is still enjoyable to experience the determination of the teenagers on pursuiting their own dreams.
July 7, 2010
Grade: C+

Xiaoshuai Wang's indirect homage to De Sica's Bicycle Thieves is a mildly interesting tale. The film follows two protagonists; a poor slum kid named Guo (Lin Cui) with a new job to deliver mail and a new bicycle, and a high school boy of around 15 named Jian (Bin Li), who is having some problems at home when it comes to getting his dad to buy him a bicycle (they are kind of poor).

The film isn't so piercingly real or really deep or anything. It takes a look at social conditions but doesn't say anything too deep about the people in the story. It's more enjoyable from an action perspective, and less with the ideas it's presenting. The whole situation with Guo and his boss after he loses his bicycle is depicted in a funny and sad way; Guo's journey in the rest of the film is to find his bike and save his job; his boss tells him if he can do this, he can keep his job.

We meet Jian and he has a bike, which looks just like the one Guo lost. Jian's story starts as out as a budding romance with a schoolmate named Xiao. She and he bike around together and whatnot and he is beginning to feel something for her, and perhaps she may be as well. This part of the story is one of the weaker elements, the grade-school romance or whatever you want to call it. Thankfully, Guo finds this bike in the hands of Jian, and the rest of the film becomes mostly a back and forth battle for ownership of the bike, which rapidly spirals out of control. Jian says he didn't steal the bike and that he got it some other way, but Guo is certain it is his stolen bike. The romance takes a back seat, but for some reason or another Wang can't seem to get rid of it completely or focus on it enough to give it any real emotional investment.

Jian's friends are like a school gang, a pretty petty one that will use 5 on 1 attacks to make their point. The film devolves pretty quickly into repetition once this group of kids is introduced halfway through, and I felt the story handed over its subtlety and its social class/economic message when it got too deep into the teen angst/ teen anger area. I admired the film more when it was about the bike, and the desperation of finding it. That is what makes Guo's parts of the film the best, because he wants the bike at all costs, both for personal fulfillment and to keep his job (which supplied him with the bike in the first place). He is still a pretty simple and non-verbal character with little of interest to say, but that's why his actions and motivations keep the interest going, because he's not a character we rely on for deep vocal insights.

When the film makes a return to the relationship I felt cheated and short-changed again. Jian's bike obsession and his naivety in relationships have caused Xian to distance herself from him. She moves on, but he can't. I wasn't sold on how the film ended, even though it was mildly interesting and enjoyable. The film turns toward an inexplicable showcase of violence from various directions, and I was scratching my head trying to answer the question "Is this just violence for the sake of violence, or is there some meaning?" I concluded that perhaps there was a meaning to the violence however vague it may be, but that it nonetheless seemed idiotic no matter how you sliced it. The characters all devolve toward the simplest possible motivations, including the two protagonists, which really aren't very likeable to begin with, and who I felt pretty indifferent towards by the end as well; and thats after both of them go through hell.

The camera shows some flavourful visuals of Beijing, the layout of some of the slums are explored in some chase scenes and some biking scenes. I was actually more interested in the little details of the city and the small crevices explored than I was with much of the story. This isn't a bad film, it just could have been way better. It lingers on the surface too often, and when it dives it seems only comfortable in the shallow end.
½ March 7, 2010
Good film. Deals with some significant life themes. Some more specific to China and some more universal. The sparse dialogue is a nice touch. As is the case for so many movies, though, this could have been edited down some without losing anything.
March 1, 2010
The first 90 minutes of the movie are utterly terrible. It's stupid people getting into trouble for doing stupid things and failing to get out of trouble because they're too stupid. The last 20 minutes are decent but in no way justify sitting through the first 90.
February 26, 2010
I don't understand what's good about this movie. The characters were static representations of their respective classes, and their actions didn't seem believable. A lot of the movie could've been cut. And if you're gonna give me a slow paced movie, you have to give me something back in return. But there was nothing in exchange for the pace. The characters weren't compelling enough.
January 6, 2010
É Ladrões de Bicicleta rodado na China contemporânea e revelando todas as contradições atuais do país.
½ August 31, 2009
See it to believe it!
½ June 8, 2009
Totally realistic depiction of Beijing, where the rich hold all the power, and the poor struggle tremendously and hold on to the things they value the most. The story of a countryside boy who for the first time in his life gets to own something, and a school boy trying to keep his place among his peers.
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