Want to see a movie that will warm your heart? Looking for a film that will grab your attention in the first few minutes and never let it go? Interested in a modern fairy tale that isn’t saccharine? Then the Belgian film Le gamine au velo or The Kid With A Bike is for you!
We saw the movie tonight and I’d have to agree with the majority of critics who have given it rave reviews. A young boy named Cyril is abandoned by his Dad, following what we assume is the death of his grandmother who was helping to care for him. Of course Cyril, like most children, has utter faith in his Dad’s love for him and refuses to believe that his father has abandoned him in the state home for adolescents where he’s been sent. The scene where his Dad tells Cyril the brutal truth–”I don’t want you anymore” made me so angry. The Kid With A Bike title stems from the fact that Cyril rides everywhere on his bike. It is a bike returned to him by a kind-hearted woman who buys it back after Cyril’s Dad sells it for some ready cash.
Cyril’s savior is Samantha, a hairdresser with an open mind and a caring heart who takes him in as a foster child and loves him even when he lashes out at her in anger, gets involved with a local gang and makes her lose her boyfriend.
My favorite scene in the movie was when Samantha goes to Cyril’s room at night. She thinks she hears him get up. Cyril doesn’t want to talk so he hops back into bed and pretends to be asleep. Samantha sits down on his bed and after a time of silence during which Cyril refuses to answer any questions she asks, she leans over to brush Cyril’s ear and hair. Finally he says softly, “It’s so warm.” Samantha asks, “What?” Cyril whispers, “You’re breath.” It is a tender moment, when you realize Samantha is beginning to crack Cyril’s tough exterior.
This movie leaves lots of unanswered questions. Why does Samantha choose to keep Cyril? Where is Cyril’s mother? Where is Samantha’s family? Why would the man Cyril assaults and robs choose to forgive him? Why does Cyril’s Dad feel he can’t take care of his son? Will Samantha and Cyril’s relationship work out in the long-term? But these questions don’t detract from the movie and certainly don’t prevent it from tugging at your heart-strings and making you hold your breath as Cyril confronts a variety of dangerous and difficult situations.