A film by
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
These stories amaze me. It’s their willingness to not tell everything in one story (and five different things in only the color of the t-shirt the character is wearing). It’s about focusing on one simple journey about a kid who is left by his father.
The kid, Cyril, searches desperately for his father. In this search he meets Samantha and asks her to be his foster family to be with him on weekends and she accepts it, this being probably another way to help him get to his father because he desperately wants to be with him. But as he finds him his father simply doesn’t want him. So then we are presented with his struggle to balance his sadness and hopelessness towards his father and the kindness of Samantha.
I think it’s genius because at the end of the day we all want to say much more in our screenplays, we all want to represent how unfair our world is, how better people should be to each other, how their selfish acts leads to a bunch of crap, how should you know more about the world around us but you’ll find how hard that it, you can’t tell all that at once. But curiously, wasn’t what they just told me with this The Kid with a Bike? I felt it was. They absolutely did. When I wrote my first screenplay, with nothing else written before, I end up writing more than 120 pages, I couldn’t possibly had more opinions to say; it was a complete mess. So I come to admire these stories because they’re the hardest to be written. Then there’s the actors’ direction. Who knows how tough it is to direct young kids. Then there’s Cecile De France (love her), I think her performances are so authentic. And Jérémie Renier whom I just had seen the day before in Potiche, a complete different person! It was really interesting to watch this film, even tricky because as it was approaching the end I was afraid of the worst, I was afraid the film would end let’s say, with an open situation, so I was killing myself. It’s not as easy catching the climax in an European film as it is in an Hollywood typical narrative, because they’re not to be trusted, because we never know (they’re not being said what final they must have). But then I breathe again.
Someone said that has filmmakers get older and mature their projects become less complex, simpler. Even though I don’t know their previous work, their age and clear wisdom assures that idea. This film its one of a kind, even if some may argue with its minimal ways which I think it’s bullshit. Let’s not be judging according to the filmmakers’ previous work and everything else attached. At the end of the day a film stands alone, as individual. And this is one beautiful, kind and emotional film.