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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Cui Lin
Li Bin
Zhou Xun
Gao Yuanyuan
Gao Yuanyuan.
Directors
Wang Xiaoshuai.
Screenwriters
Peggy Chiao
Hsiao-Ming Hsu
Danian Tang
Xiashuai Wang
Wang Xiaoshuai
Peggy Chiao.
Running Time
113 minutes

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Beijing Bicycle
Observant look at adolescent life in modern-day Beijing.


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Plot
Two boys living in Beijing, one a migrant from the country, the other an urban schoolkid, are brought together by joint ownership of a bicycle.


Review
Wang Xiao-Shuai's film is a subtle blend of socio-political metaphor and street-realism. The iconic Chinese bicycle is the literal vehicle from which it tells the tale of two youngsters disputing ownership whilst using their bike as transport, instrument of courtship, status symbol and more.

A stunning Beijing backdrop is used to striking effect, giving an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the fabric that holds together China's capital. Solid, believable performances were rightly honoured at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival, and a wonderfully understated score by Wang Feng provides the perfect accompaniment to the languid drama.


Verdict
Beijing Bicycle could at times do with cranking up a gear, but remains a riveting piece of pure cinema.


Reviewed by Justin Bowyer

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