Plot: Beijing: young men in packs, machismo, class divisions, violence, and indifference. Guei arrives from the country: toothbrushes, hotel foyers, and Qin, a rich neighbor in high heels, dazzle him. He gets a job as a messenger. The company issues him a bike, which he must pay for out of his wages. When it is stolen, Guei hunts for it. A student, Jian, has it; for him, it's the key to teen society - with his pals and with Xiao, a girl he fancies. Guei finds the bike and stubbornly tries to reclaim it in the face of great odds. But for Jian to lose the bike would mean humiliation. The two young men - and the people around them - are swept up in the youths' desperation.
«A well-honed and often diverting Chinese riff on "The Bicycle Thief," indie mainland director Wang Xiaoshuai's "Beijing Bicycle" overplays its slim hand by a good two reels. A surprise pickup by Sony Pictures Classics just prior to its screening in competition at Berlin -- and an even more surprise winner of the fest's Grand Jury Prize plus new talent awards for its two teenage leads -- pic looks likely to create only minor waves on the arthouse circuit as a low-end, well-intentioned addition to Sony's East Asian catalog.»
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