Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike) (2011)

Today's film is Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike).  It's my first film from Belgium, and I have to say, I'm not very impressed.  The story appears to be no different than a Lifetime Original Movie.  The story is okay but predictable, but the acting is great.

The kid with a bike is Cyril, who lives in a group home and has not heard from his dad, his only living relative, for a month.  He goes out of his way to find his dad's apartment to see where he could have gone, and also to retrieve his bike, which is his prized possession.  He runs into a hairdresser while doing this, and she finds out where the bike is.  His dad sold it to someone else, and she bought it off him.  The hairdresser, Samantha, goes to the group home to give the bike to Cyril.  He asks her if she could be his foster family for the weekends.  She agrees and everything goes well.

However, he's still determined to find his dad.  Samantha tracks down his address and they find out where he works.  Cyril wants to go at that moment so they head over to the restaurant where he's prepping for lunch.  It is clear that Cyril's father doesn't want him around, even for a visit.  He confesses to Samantha that now that he's the only one left to take care of Cyril, he wants to start over in a new life and that doesn't include Cyril at all.  Cyril has a really hard time taking this and I don't blame him.

Soon Cyril becomes manipulated by a young local drug dealer to help him rob somebody.  Cyril agrees to help him by knocking the victim out with a bat and robbing him.  He goes out against Samantha's wishes and completely ignores everything she's done for him to help someone who doesn't care.  Cyril gets caught and gets punished and has to repay what he stole, and apologizes to the man he hit.  The man's son, who he also hit with a bat, won't accept his apology.  The son chases him down and Cyril climbs a tree to get away from him.  Cyril falls out of the tree and is unconscious for a good while.  The men he hit discuss how to deal with his body when Cyril just up and walks away without a scratch.  The movie just ends right there.  Not only does he take Samantha for granted when she's the only person to take him in, he obeys a greasy drug dealer without question.  He needs to learn how to be grateful because he's an entitled brat.  He feels that he deserves his bike, he can leave her house through a window even though he's not supposed to go out at night, and doesn't respect her at all.  He even got her boyfriend to leave her.

There's nothing inherently bad about this movie at all.  There's just nothing great either, nothing that grabs my attention and leads me to believe that I absolutely have to see this before I die.  I will give this film a 7/10.


  1. My problem is that I hated the kid so much that I just couldn't like the film as a whole. If they had started the film with his father abandoning him, instead of a month after it happened when he is a spoiled brat for no reason that we know, it might have made a difference. As it was he built up such a bad impression on me from the beginning that I had no sympathy for him when we later find out what his father did.

    1. You're right. The kid was the worst part, and he was so ungrateful to Samantha for taking him in.