Beijing Bicycle

Rated NR

In a city of millions of bicycles, one spiffy mountain bike becomes the focus of a struggle between two teen-age boys that illustrates the seemingly insurmountable class stratifications in modern Beijing. Director Xiaoshuai Wang (who wrote the script with three others) tells the story of country bumpkin Guei (Cui Lin), who comes to the city to take a job as a bike courier. His first month’s salary is spent paying off the fancy bicycle the messenger service provides him. In grand melodrama style, the bike is stolen a day before Guei has paid it off. He combs the city for it and finds it in the possession of poor but street-savvy prep-schooler Jian (Bin Li), who aspires to all the flash accouterments of his rich schoolmates. A carefully constructed, though long-winded, struggle escalates to a violent level. The film will leave many in the audience feeling a deep sense of social injustice—if they stick around to its pathos-drenched finish.

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