'The Kid With a Bike' one determined youngster

'The Kid With a Bike' one determined youngster

Steve Salles, Standard-Examiner movie critic - April 13th, 2012
3 stars

Good movies make you feel something, but it’s not always a good feeling.

Sometimes, as in the case of “The Kid With a Bike,” you might feel pity, frustration, compassion and confusion. And based on those feelings, this movie is a bit haunting.

Young Cyril is alone and doesn’t like it.

He lives in a home for abandoned boys. He has his father’s last known phone number, but the recording says it’s disconnected. He refuses to let that be the last word. He will find his dad or die trying.

He escapes the home and makes it back to their old apartment, but the place is empty. His obsession with locating his dad practically turns him into a feral animal. He is stone-cold relentless, and doesn’t care who or what he has to go through to find his old man. A kindly hairdresser who gets caught in his whirlwind path takes pity, finds the kid’s bike (which his dad sold) and brings it back to the heartbroken Cyril.

But this only gives him a new determination to find his dad. Cyril will use the hairdresser to help him in his search. Why she is so eager to help this ungrateful child is unexplained. She just does, even at the peril of her relationships and her safety.

One minute, you’ll want to hug this poor kid; and the next, you’ll want to send him packing. It’s not his fault he’s such a mess. The only question is: How far will he go before the hairdresser says “Enough”? Or is he too far gone to even be reached?

There are a lot of questions for this simple human story. “The Kid With a Bike” is energetic, unflinching and consuming.

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