The Bicycle Thief on the surface is a simple story of a man whose bicycle is stolen and the angst he endures on his unrelenting search for the bike. But the Italian film is actually neo-realist tale depicting life in Italy after war. There are two main components in this film that makes it part of Neo-realism. They are the overall look of the film and the fact that it makes you question human survival.
Like most neo-realist movies, the bicycle thief is shot in black and white. The black and white helps give the film a dreary feeling. The use of color would have given it a more lively , production energy. The black and white adds to the tone of the film which is solemn and gloomy. Also, it makes each person in the background look the same as Ricci.
The use of natural light also contributes to the tone of the tone of the film. It creates shadows all over the city, giving the streets a haunted or scary feel. The sea of people and their shadows in the back drop give you a clear understanding of the state of unemployment after the war. It creates a realism that can be seen documentaries or in today's reality shows. The remarkable final scene, in which Ricci and Bruno are swallowed in a crowd of people, beautifully captures the essence of the times. Ricci's story is one of many. But what is Ricci's story?
In a world where the recovery of the bicycle stands between eating and starving, his story is one of survival. He and his wife had to pawn their sheets in order to get his bicycle which had been pawned previously. While looking for his stolen bike, Ricci is forced to search through hundreds of other bicycles at the local market. Hundreds of bikes that represent prosperity, right at his finger tips yet he leaves with empty handed. Even after Ricci finds the thief, he decides not to press charges because the boy is just as desperate to survive as he is. And just as the boy stole from Ricci as means survival, Ricci attempts...