Friday, July 07, 2006

A humanist

I think I was barely 10 years old then. A movie was being played on the TV and nobody was, in fact, watching, mother was busy feeding the younger brother, father was, perhaps, not home. On top of that, it was a foreign language movie which none of us could understand, black and white, and a very poor quality print. So the situation was overwhelmingly ripe to change the channel immediately or switch off the TV. But, there were some elements which I was unable to detect at such a young age, however, remained glued to the TV and watched it till the curtain was rung down. Now, one can imagine how great the movie must have been to hold even the attention of a ten year old for hours, despite the language constraints and poor audio and video quality. The story of the movie was narrated in an extremely simplistic cinematic language, the acting was extraordinarily smooth, and the plot was utterly easy to follow. So you never fail to be touched by the poignancy of the story when a father and a five year old son, sitting on the street, looking at each other, do not know what to do when the bicycle they borrowed from a pawnbroker is stolen on the very first day of the job. Your heart collapses when you see that the father looks more childish and helpless than the infant at the unexpected theft of their bicycle. A different layer of human relation emerges through the movie and passes through your mind seamlessly, yet it is portrayed in a very simple manner. Such was the genius of Vittorio De Sica to be able to conquer the audience without using any deadly weapons. Surely you have understood that the movie I was talking about is The bicycle thief.

Today is Vittorio De Sica’s 104th birth anniversary.

1 Comments:

Blogger Anwesha Chatterjee said...

Heartwrenching story that one....classic!!! I loved the movie

Saturday, July 08, 2006 7:57:00 AM  

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