Heavily story driven with little in the way of character depth and development. The marginal characters are really marginal and superfluous as they neither advance story nor character. It is nonetheless a very good effort.
A stubborn country boy and proud teenager fight over a bicycle. This set-up provides moments of sadness and poignancy but is dragged out for too long. Blows opportunity to make something meaningful out of this little opera.
What a bunch of delinquents. Communicates a lot of passion. Determination. Survival instinct. Beijing bicycle of freedom and independence. My heart goes to country boy Guei, the only one with any integrity.
Recent period piece:Beijing at a cross-roads: bicycles still dominating the roads, labyrinthine hutongs and migrants struggling to make ends meet. The bicycle is both symbolic and also a very real tool of social empowerment. Obvious allusions to The Bicycle Thieves, but works very well decontextualised as a study of the struggles to survive, be accepted and reach self-realisation in a competitive and hostile world.
It makes such a big effort in being a touching film at any cost just to get the inmediate emotional favor of the audience. "Beijing Bicycle" or "Bicycle of the seventeen years" can't go very deep and it finally remains only on what's visible from the iceberg of social/individual issues: the mere anecdote with no other contribution.