Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is Blood thicker than Water?

-By Swetha Amit
When one says ‘family’, words like love, support, care and security comes to their mind. However with the recent occurrences attached with a horrifying element makes one want to rethink with regard to such associations.

The ‘incest’ virus seems to be the next dreaded disease after terrorism. What with the hearings of Businessman father raping daughter as per Tantrik’s suggestions for monetary gains. And now the latest story on the Mumbai Mirror edition narrated in first person by a 29 year old lad of being molested by his uncle. It made me wonder where the world was heading to. Or how worse can it get? Life seems to be getting complicated with every passing day and relationships are certainly no exception. True that complexity is what makes it interesting but not to an extent that it elicits disgust, horror and dread. To an extent where it makes one question about the safety factor in one’s own homes and with family? Especially when our country was once known to be the epitome of a happy joint family- one that eats, dines and prays together. Not anymore perhaps.

Coming back to the appalling story of a young man, it made me cringe with nothing but disgust on reading it. From the tender age of 7, he bore the brunt of sexual advances by his uncle. Fear of not being believed forced him to remain silent and suppressed until one day the threshold was reached. Unable to bear it any longer, he kicked his relative and realized that it should have been given much earlier-an act which would have saved much of his psychological scars. His story stated that how there was none he could confide into. He said that disclosing his story to a close friend in college only earned him snide remarks and made him a laughing stock eventually. While he did gather courage to disclose this to his father, the relationship never remained the same as the latter accused him of having enjoyed such advances.

It left him with no choice but to displace his rage in the form of activism. He stood for animal rights and confided more in his dog whom he found solace in and unconditional support. Many a time he had contemplated on suicide. Who could blame him? Especially when he soon found out about his sexual identity of that being a gay. Yet he chose to move on and lead his life in his own terms. He did ensure that his uncle was out-casted from the family and yet couldn’t ignore the fear, the insecurity and the scars that probably wouldn’t heal with time. Being a loner without a choice didn’t help either.

What a shame to hear of such lives being spoilt and scarred forever. I was shocked. What is it that makes family members indulge in such callousness? It would be a daunting task to study the psychological aspects attributed to such behaviour. Earlier it was cases of rape, murder from third parties that brought out the heinous aspects of the world. And now one has to face the same from relatives as well.

Such increasing cases are no doubt leading to young ones posing a lot of questions on hearing about such instances. No amount of filtering can shield them from the hard hitting truth with due respects to the media. Starting from the unsettled Aarushi Talwar case, kids were found asking if their fathers would do the same. The recent occurrence of the businessman makes matters worse. There are clearly two categories which children can fall into. The actual victims and the prospective victims. It made me wonder who to sympathise with more?

While the first set is nursing scars of the wounds inflicted upon them, the latter are nursing fear of having to deal with such scars. While the first set is perennially scarred, the second category of children perennially fall under the insecurity zone.

Another aspect that came to my mind was that of the boy not having gotten support from any source. One hand, we express our sympathies towards such incidents on hearing about it, but when it actually comes to lending it, society chooses to remain aloof. Isn’t it a hypocritical stance? It may not be fair to generalize family factor on a whole based on a few instances. Yet one cannot ignore as to how many incidents like these are happening with a veil from the media. Call it being cynical, pessimism but one cannot deny the strange ways of the world and such occurrences only proves it further. So is blood thicker than water? Or does neither possess the substance of morality anymore?
Written for www.msn.co.in

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Creating our own destruction

-By Swetha Amit
It’s not every movie which makes you draw inferences from what was mistaken for a light hearted entertainer at least from the promos. However when it does, it ceases one to indulge in cerebral rumination marvelling at how similar the scenarios depicted in the film are to real life ones.

‘Barah Aana’ may not have gotten rave reviews. Neither does it live up to high expectations. However certain instances with its twists and turns did make me ponder about the ironical stance that was brought out eventually. The story is about 3 men belonging to the under privileged section of the society-a driver, a watchman and a waiter who are thick friends. The film showcases the frustrations exhibited by each character and their cynical view to life. All three lead a simple living until an unexpected turn of events bring about shades of grey, succumbing them into a trap of treacherous crime of kidnapping. And yet the strangest part lay in the fact that none was inclined to choose the path of chicanery. As the last line stated clearly that a man wanted nothing more than the simplest things of life.

Going back into the film, some of the scenes are quite appalling drawing sympathy from the viewers. It gives a chance for us to look at life from a different angle/side opening quite a bit of our perspective. One of which includes the watchman played by Vijay Raaz pleading for an advance to the owners of a plush society to meet the medical expenses of his son. And this is met with vehement refusal stating the lack of enough resources from the same. And yet on the other hand they spend 2000 INR on junk food as narrated by the tearful character in a stirring manner. His reasoning was that of the possessing the capacity to give and yet choose not to.

The driver played by Naseeruddin Shah to an affluent couple bears the brunt of insults hurled by the woman boss. Having to put up with false accusations, labelled as a dirty mongrel and not even being addressed by his name proves to take a toll until the threshold is reached. As he narrates his experience, our hearts immediately reach out to him for having being subjected to inconsideration and insensitivity. The third character is in want of money to lend a helping hand to his foreigner love who turns out to be a crook. All three reach heights of desperation which propels them to take the forbidden route that they stumble upon accidently.

Taking each incident into account, it made me realize that these were common occurrences that one gets to see in a day to day life. A watchman being taunted to the maximum in a plush society worth crores and yet many a time it’s a miser like attitude adopted by the residents. Why? Is it fear of not having their money returned? Scared that such money may be obtained for the wrong purpose? While such apprehensions may not be unfounded, it may not hurt to practise social responsibility once in a while for a good cause.

Similarly in the driver’s case, I have seen quite a few reprimand their own ones in a severe manner often making a mountain out of a molehill. The poor chap hangs his head in shame especially when insulted in front of strangers. Is it to show their ‘superior’ position? Is it fear of being taken over if enough authority isn’t exhibited? Is it a stance adopted to show off in front of their social circle? In the bargain making a poor man a scapegoat of their insensitive remarks?

It is indeed a shame to see such supposedly ‘educated’ class indulge in such lowly behaviour. One fails to realize that taunts exceeded beyond ones tolerance bursts into quest for revenge and hatred. Failure in showing consideration to those not so privileged in more than one way results in the increasing rates of miscreants in the society. What does it hurt us to contribute a generous share of resources which we have been blessed with in abundance to the needy at times? It’s true that there are many who strive for one meal a day or in need of money to run their family. Helping others socially would work wonders once in a way. Similarly it is important to take care in handling those not so privileged. The latter already possess a complex with regard to their socio economic status and demeaning them would only result in us spreading malice in the society.

Contemplating about all this couldn’t help me but think that somewhere down the line, are we responsible in creating such miscreants in the society? Injustice meted out to them is worsened by harsh treatment and individual callousness. In desperation man can even kill especially when it comes to saving his skin, kith and kin. Are we by our failure to realize this giving rise to petty crimes that would invariably destroy us? In other words are we creating our own destruction by our impertinent folly? If only one looks at the world from a different window will they view the imbalances in a perfect manner? Does it mean turning into a socialist or becoming a leveller? Maybe not entirely attainable but possible nevertheless.
Written for www.msn.co.in

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Unrestrained musings of a traveller

It’s true that travel is no doubt the best teacher. Indeed it opens your mind to a gateway of experiences making it seeming almost surreal and yet portrays a reality that leaves you awe inspiring. Exploring into various parts of the world, right from remote corners of poverty, to plush locales of silver sand beaches amidst the heights of luxury denotes an exhilarating experience in different ways.

Over the past few years I have travelled like never before on a frequent basis all over the country and abroad. Intriguing and enthralling experiences is what I come away with as souvenirs with each location leaving its imprint in a firm manner. It’s astounding to realize that there’s so much to see and so little time. Every time I return from a vacation, my mind traverses back to the list of to see places already planning for a next getaway. Call it impatience, restlessness or morbidity as it makes me want to live life like there’s no tomorrow. But isn’t it true that while one day everything is fine as a castle on clouds and the next day an unexpected catastrophe destroys that very place making it seem almost nonexistent? Either its resurged by militants or plundered by nature’s fury. It makes one wistful of the fact that they could have gone when they had the chance.

My passion for travelling unfolded as I realized the significance of discovering several tucked away locales having plenty to offer in an unexpected manner. To an extent where it has propelled me to share such beautiful experiences in my own literary way. And the quest to see more has increased double fold as I make a list of places I would definitely want to visit in my lifetime. Locations that I probably heard and read about and yet nothing can justify its splendour until visited in person.

Lakshadweep Islands: It seems to be an unexplored jewel of India on viewing the pictures. The crystal clear waters depict certain serenity about them making it ideal for a getaway from the hullaballoo of the bustling city life. I read somewhere that it was one of the best places for Scuba Diving especially for beginners. Possessing an adventurous streak, this has no doubt excited me to definitely explore the underwater world. Surely it’s bound to be better than the undersea walk experience in Mauritius?

Kenya Safari: Being an ardent animal lover has often made me tune on to channels like Discovery and Animal Planet. Watching those big cats in action had my eyes widened at the majestic aura of the wonderful species. Acknowledging the wild streak in me I often wondered what it would be like to see such wild fauna in the vicinity and a good probability of having breakfast amidst them. Ravishing reviews from a friend stating it as a must see place has already set in a determination to visit it at any cost. Never mind the atrocities that people warn me about Kenya as it seems worth a risk. My travel agent has already given me a thumbs-up along with an itinerary. I really hope to enrich my fauna expedition with my visit here and this time I certainly do not need a remote in my hand.

Kashmir: Heaven on earth was what it was claimed to be by those lucky beings having cruised through this valley of vivacity. Sadly at present it seems to be a living hell on earth consisting of curfews and terror. It was once to India what Switzerland is to Europe. It is strange that while I visited the latter the former still seems to be on my To-see list. The closest I toured was to Vaishno Devi in 2007. Wish I had paid heed to my impulse to drive from Jammu into Kashmir. All I can do is to await hope in the valley of Paradise.

Mount Abu and Ranthambore: I did visit Rajasthan six months ago. Yet time didn’t permit me to visit these two places mentioned. Given the next opportunity I would love to tour these places which are recommended for adventure lovers and the latter being known for tigers and wild life mainly.

Leh and Ladakh: A ten day tour consisting of a trek mainly was recommended by my travel agent. The prospect of which sounded thrilling making me vow to take off just for this mountaineering expedition. I can almost feel the Himalayan Hangover already just by the mere thought of walking amidst the great range.

Australia and New Zealand: Either of the cricket teams may not fall in the list of my favourites but nevertheless heard so much about both making me want to visit to satiate my curiosity levels. Being a sea person, Australia proves to be an exciting prospect in several ways. Oh I must remember to include Tasmania along with it. The latter gained fame after the LOTR series and has brought in rave reviews about being a wonderland in itself.

Bora Bora Island: This French Polynesian in the Pacific sure is an eye candy while surfing through the pictures. Feeding the sharks option was what caught my eye and further enhanced when I read somewhere about being able to swim along with the same. The closest one can get to nature with this creature which is sure to be a life time experience. Found that it takes several hours to get there and have vowed to develop my patience levels to sit through the flight before I decide to go there. But certainly will visit sometime. When? A million dollar question.

So what is it that makes me love travelling so much? I need to get away from routine and monotony, the lack of which stifles my growth as a person and fear of ending up as a Bonsai. Call it an escapist streak in my personality but not to an extent that it makes me not want to come back at all. In fact a change of scene does wonders for me making me feel like a new person altogether and charged to get back to work like never before. Constant bombarding by professional hazards and people many a time makes me lose myself. A getaway accompanied with solitude restores the ability to get in touch with myself once again. The luxury to relax and admire the vivid surroundings around me eases the stress out of my grey cells. Also it enables me to keep a constant check on the changes creeping inside my personality. Not to mention the continuity of my journey along the learning curve.

A lot may be happening in Mumbai- experiences that can make one see the gradual shades of grey soon. This explains a valid reason to get away. Yet it’s a city which possesses that magnetic pull that urges one to want to come back irrespective of how far they venture. And I am no exception. Especially if one loves it like the way I do. I cannot imagine residing anywhere else. The reason for which would include a whole post by itself.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

The Spoilt under 30 crowd

Received this via email...


This is so true (for many of us growing up in the 90s too).... life does come a full circle. Though I do wonder what this generation is going to say to the next abt what was hard for them??!! Of course for the technophobic...life was probably way easier in the 80s


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning Uphill... barefoot in the snow. BOTH ways
Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!! There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and 'eject' it when finished and the tape would come undone. cause that's how we rolled, ya dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Play station videogames with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel! There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!


Regards,
The over 30 Crowd

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

‘Revolutionary Road’: Unravels seven year itch


-By Swetha Amit

http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=67e901e1-4667-4f51-a196-8273c5cafdbf


Right. The infamous seven year itch is what one usually hears jokingly in a party consisting of newly married couples or oldies. Its ugly face or rather phase in this case is highlighted on when it tunes into a serious note with words lashing out not necessarily musical to the ears. The frustrations, disappointments, blame games linger on continuously till a threshold point beyond which the relationship collapses. However one can hardly imagine that such differences can lead to cause a tragic moment. Such is the dysfunctional aspect of human nature or should one attribute it to incompatibility, intolerance, irritability or a combination of all?

Revolutionary Road starts off on a high pitch note literally as a middle aged couple driving down the highway drive each other crazy. April (Kate Winslet) and Frank (Leonardo Dicaprio) face the mid life crisis trying to cope up with unfulfilled dreams, desires, ambitions and the monotonous lifestyles. The non stimulating routine causes a sudden decision to move to Paris for a change to revitalise their souls. However unexpected circumstances occur due to which the relocating plans come to a halt. Little do the couple realize that the turn of events would take a drastic turn for the worst? Such that it would lead to a change in their lives forever ending on a bitter note and a permanent scar.

Based on a novel by Richard Yates, the film brilliantly portrays the seven year itch that the couple face. It also promises riveting performances by the lead actors and marvellous direction by Sam Mendes exhibiting its deserved Oscar Nominations. Several sequences of the film cruises through wry humour, flurry of emotions, murky elements of adultery and flings, the evident differences and dissatisfied life of the couple. The realistic nature of the film is such that it leaves the viewers with a bitter taste in their mouths yet not without an awe and admiration for the poignant portrayal of the complexities in a marred relationship.

Several aspects of the movie prove to be thought provoking as it results in one ruminating seriously on the characters and the entire concept which is so pertaining to life in general. Raging emotions, war of words and the cries of anguish can be avoided with constantly revitalising themselves along with their partner’s. Such enhances the relationship to a higher level of understanding and respect. The psychological angles are depicted especially when April displaces her unmet needs for change on to her husband Frank convincing him of finding himself finally. To which the latter agrees until things turn in his favour bringing out the selfish motives. Disappointment pierces April which is brought out in an animosity quite cold in its stature bordering it to almost indifference. Compromises, sacrifices made seem to go over the board as leading a mundane life becomes unbearable making her resort to extreme measures.

It teaches one that relationships when not addressed from both angles, leads to one eventually losing other to an extent where one may never get that chance to atone. There may be no scope for the road to recovery in such a case which is what Sam Mendes’s Revolutionary Road unravels.
Written for www.msn.co.in

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Restoring the nation’s pride


-By Swetha Amit
Sentimentality and the significance of memorable gifts given seem to no longer withhold a stance of merely being a token of appreciation, love and honour. Selfish and capital gains are what considered a priority over emotions sadly even if it means demeaning pride of a nation.

The Otis drama clearly exhibited the above aspect evidently. It was a shock to the nation to see the Gandhi Memorabilia displayed for auction by some foreign national collector. It proved to be even more of a disgrace to hear of the same items being purchased under an agreement signed between Peter Ruhe the chairman of Gandhiserve Foundation and the great niece in law of the revered Mahatma. Do gifts no longer hold a value sans the monetary gains? One fails to realize that such priceless objects cannot match any mere figure.

It is indeed understandable for the whole episode being labelled as Immoral by the great grandson Tushar Gandhi. It doesn’t cease to see the heritage which ideally depicts the pride of a country to be bargained for something like a GDP factor. This indeed depicts Otis’s double portrayal of fist being a rogue and then a saint for having stated his ‘cause’ for the poor. Many were enraged about the fact that the Indian Government not doing enough to curtail this drama from unfolding. “We are doing everything we can “was the usual monotonous statement that was uttered like a broken record which was pre recorded every time a hue and cry was raised.

Yet the auction did take place and it proved to be a blessing when none other than our liquor veteran Vijay Mallya bought the items back for the country. While many may dispute at his otherwise flamboyant ways and mannerisms, it did come in handy when it came to saving the sub continent from shame. It would have been insulting to see those very items belonging to our Father of the Nation under the clasp of a wealthy American or British national.

This episode raises pertinent questions in the minds of any patriotic Indian. We call Gandhi the father of our nation and yet obtain a meek stance of “doing our best”. Would one choose to take a back seat when seeing their own late father’s objects that are an embodiment of nostalgia being traded like a livestock? Was there nothing that our government could do except sound like a parrot echoing the same words? Could one only resort to prayers to restore our symbol of democracy hoping for a patriotic Indian to buy those items? It exhibited a great deal of irony where one hand we were celebrating August 15th and Jan 26th with show and splendour when the real essence of it is poorly portrayed in times of need.

Is this the gratitude we have for someone who was willing to imprison themselves innumerable times to gift us something called freedom? A martyr whose principles are ideals that are used only to make artistic cinema and nothing else? It’s a different thing altogether when such ideas aren’t considered practical in the present scenario.

It goes to show that chants of Jai Hind and Vande Mataram solely don’t show love for the country. It lies in the ability to tackle the bull by its horns, preserving our heritage and culture even if it means adopting a fierce stance irrespective of how strong the opponent may be. Like the Mahatma himself has said “
I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life. Especially when it comes to restoring the nation’s pride.
Written for www.msn.co.in

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

‘Milk’: Brilliant and thought provoking

-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=d8a46ffd-113a-460a-b65d-a13ee15dea99


It doesn’t take much of creative juices to flow especially when one makes a script based on a true story. However it does require skilful depiction of the same in order to win the hearts of the audience with its stirring message. What proves to be a further challenge is to get into the skin of a real life character and portray him with utmost conviction. Such that it makes the viewers perceive the character alone quite forgetting that he is one of the talented actors of Hollywood. The very element which certainly doesn’t make one dispute over the numerous Oscar nominations the film had to its credit.

Gus Van Sant’s ‘Milk’ is one such film which is based on the story of activist Harvey milk who was the first gay person to be elected in the public office in California. Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) migrates from New York to San Francisco in pursuit of change accompanied by his lover Scott Smith (James Franco) in 1977. He opened a business and soon found his way in becoming an activist. With immense struggle and odds against him, hope was something Milk thrived on as his victory came knocking on his doorstep on his becoming a city supervisor in 1977.

However with jealousy and insanity which are no alien accomplices in politics, Milk is brutally murdered in 1978 by an insecure colleague Dan White (Josh Brolin). Yet the former left behind a strong message that exhibited gay rights in a fierce manner. A community which was shunned and preyed upon mercilessly began to see hope in being able to lead ‘normal’ lives as the others. Such was shown in the Proposition 6 not allowed to be passed much to the jubilation of the same.

Milk promises a profound performance by Sean Penn which truly embarks it as an outright Oscar winner. While sequences in the film such as the open debates depict sarcastic humour, it also portrays intelligence and a thought provoking stance. Josh Brolin performs equally well as the suave fellow selector wearing a mask of vile intentions of the deadly sins possible. Brilliantly directed by Gus Van Sant, Milk easily falls in the category on intelligent cinema and makes one wistful of the fact of not having been declared as the best film of the year.

The movie symbolizes hope, inspiration and numerous underlying messages. Battling against the odds in order to gain justice of what may be righteous always presents a bed of thorns. In spite of bleeding profusely, it takes immense courage, grit and determination to steer through the hostile faces and phases of the society. While victory spells glory, it also leads to the jaws of death by envious predators. Such is the price one pays while fighting for a noble and a good cause.

It also conveys that homosexuality is certainly not a crime. To each his/her own is the philosophy to be adopted instead of indulging in scorn or ridiculing those who don’t exactly fit into our norms. While such acceptance has prevailed in shores abroad, progression in this aspect has a long way to go in our country especially. Shunning or mocking them only exhibits us in poor light especially since they cause no harm to the society. Sexuality lies in one’s choice which none possess a right to intervene and create an issue.

In the meantime, it is definitely a must watch for all in order to appreciate the fineness of wonderful cinema. Passionate, intense and impressive is what spells the dauntless portrayal of the story of Harvey Milk.



Written for www.msn.co.in

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

‘Bicycle Thieves’: Steals the hearts of the viewers

-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=3c64dbe3-6b0b-41f1-9356-642ba87576c8


A fabulous line stating it as one of the best films ever made behind the DVD cover arouses enough curiosity in one to pick it up and watch it immediately. It makes one wonder what exactly about the film makes it earn that line along with a flamboyant description as a timeless master piece that even inspired Satyajit Ray. Technological advancement certainly wasn’t like what it is today. Neither does the film carry its special effects that lead to bated breaths amongst the audience creating a new list of ardent followers. And yet the duration of 93 minutes nowhere disappoints as they lean back on the couch ruminating about the thought provoking narration they had just watched.

It is set in the era of depression post the World War-II in Italy where unemployment was at its peak. The story is about one such unemployed worker Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani
) who must possess a bicycle in order to attain a job. In order to purchase one, his wife sells the curtains and manages to draw enough money to do so. It was indeed considered a treasure as one without a bicycle remained unemployed which resulted in further poverty. However on the first day of work, a dismayed Antonio manages see his ‘treasure’ whisked away by a petty bicycle thief.

It results in Antonio and his son Bruno (
Enzo Staiola) on a vigorous search for the miscreant across the streets of Rome. Far and wide, they crusade finally tracking down the thief only to find it go in vain. Frustration and desperation creeps inside Antonio as he indulges in an act which depicts irony to a large extent.

‘Bicycle thieves’ is based on a novel by Luigi Batolini which was adapted for screenplay by Cesare Zavattini and released in 1948. The USP lies in its simplicity of the story line and a few poignant moments that touches the emotional chord of the audience. Not to mention the stirring performances by the lead actors. Language proves to be no barrier as the Italian film provides its sub titles. Brilliantly directed by Vittorio De Sica, a few moments of the narrative provides a thought provoking message that one can indeed learn a lesson or two from it.

During the search for his treasure, Antonio failed to see the real one right under his nose in the form of his son which he realizes only in the end. Secondly, the last act proved to be contradictory to his otherwise honest persona which was prodded by extreme desperation border lined by the element of greed. He committed that very act which spelt dishonesty and cheating eventually falling in his own eyes. Turning into a bicycle thief himself he began to understand that while trying to grab one treasure to maintain his image in his son’s eyes, he lost his wealth of integrity making him shame faced in front of his ‘little jewel’.


The ironical ending depicts the reality of circumstances where an individual is forced to turn into something he/she otherwise despises only to prove something to others. What they fail to realize is that in the long run, their goodness and simplicity is what would eventually earn respect more than their substantial earnings. Injustice angers one enough to resort to revenge that could turn them into criminals whom they would otherwise chase after fiercely with inept scorn.

‘Bicycle thieves’ teaches one that nothing is worth giving up the real treasure that is imbibed in an individual and falling in the eyes of their kith and kin. The very element of simplicity in the story bowled over millions enough to earn accolades and awards. Possessing such a remarkable trait would prove to be a winner in the long run. It also makes one understand that while we all resort to desperate measures in pursuing treasure far and wide, at times that very gem lies in front of our own eyes which fails to catch our blinded perception. A must watch for those who can manage to get hold of this ingenious world cinema that is worthy of its generous reviews.
Written for www.msn.co.in

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