In the clamorous clutter of releases this week, Cycle Kick stands out for being the least fashionable/trendy and the most original. Yes, it has its flaws - it is excessively syrupy in places and often amateurish in parts. But the sum-total of the components adds up to a heartwarming take on coming-of-age in the back of the beyond.
In fact, the qualities of mawkishness and over-simplification only add to the film`s simplicity of purpose and transparency of presentation.
Debutant director Shashi Sudigada transports us into the world of the young in a sleepy scenic seaside town. Unlike the hip boys and girls in some other recent young-is-fun films where the students seem to belong to Archies comic books rather than real life, the protagonists in Cycle Kick crave for the simple pleasures of life.
That one glimpse of the girl from the window, that stolen hug with your adorable little sibling (there are two such moments squeezed into the baggy narration), and a ride on the bicycle through the dusty lanes.
The bicycle acquires a strange life of its own. It`s almost like the hero beyond the human. In its recreation of world of simple pleasures of the young and the confused, Cycle Kick echoes Vittorio de Sica`s Bicycle Thieves. There is a bedrock of sincerity in the presentation carried to some depths of lucidity by the fabulous locations and the spirit of kinship, camaraderie and sportsmanship that runs in a soporific trickle through the quaint film, like a stream that isn`t really bothered about where it is heading.
The supple screenplay centres on a stolen bicycle and the two protagonists Ramu(Malayalam actor Nishan) and Ali (Sunny Hinduja) who claim a mutual ownership of the in-demand bicycle.
Parts of the films`s romantic tracks and the rivalry between the low-income school and the `high` school recall Mansoor Ali Khan`s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. These faint echoes do not take away from the film`s positive energy, its artless candour and its penchant for a state of equanimity in the narration that strives to achieve neither an under nor an over statement.
Shot in the tranquil seaside town of Sindhugarh in coastal Maharashtra, the virgin locations lend a sun-kissed freshness to the goings-on, as does the cast.
Nishan as the cycling dreamer, protective elder brother and love-stuck Romeo brings an endearing sincerity to the proceedings. His relationship with his kid-brother (Dwij Yadav) underlines the film`s most precious moments. The man-to-man talk between the siblings on women makes you smile.
An undercurrent of naivete characterizes the film. Some of the cast is rather stiff before the camera. But there is that fine veteran actor Tom Alter effortlessly making a space for himself as the football coach, echoing Naseeruddin Shah`s role in Nagesh Kukunoor`s Iqbal.
Indeed it won`t be erroneous to describe Cycle Kick as a successor to Iqbal. This film carries a heavy hangover of the earlier film. But does so with grace and honesty.
Cycle Kick is not quite the kick-in-the-groin take on the non-urban youth`s aspirations that Iqbal so successfully happened to be. But it has its heart in the right place. And it doesn`t puts its foot in its mouth.
Cyclekick is the story of how small things, no matter how modest to us, can be the most sought after treasure for another. Its the story of two brothers, Ramu (Actors Name) and his younger brother Deva (Actors Name). They live in a small coastal village and without parents have grown up relying only on life`s necessities. Ramu works all morning and attends college in the afternoon just so that he can send Deva to a decent school. Both boys can`t see their lives altering… Until one day they find a beaten up cycle. The repair it and swiftly their lives change. Ramu is able to be more productive and take up extra jobs and Deva fulfills his dream of owning a cycle, which is seen as a symbol of status in this sleepy village. Their lives are looking up… Then suddenly the cycle is stolen. Ramu and Deva search for the thief and it leads them to Ali (Actors Name). Ali is a feisty young man using the cycle as a way to make an impression. For him, it makes him the centre of attention finally. Ramu and Deva confront Ali who swears he didn`t steal the bike and won`t let it go easily. In the middle of this conflict, the coach of the Government College Ramu and Ali study at (Tom Alter), proposes a nobel way to settle the dispute – a football match. On playing themselves to a standstill, the two decide to share the cycle until Ali`s past catches up to him and the cycle is destroyed in a fight with boys from the more expensive St. Joseph`s College. Eager to settle the score the Coach and the boys decide to take on St. Joseph`s in a football match. Ramu and Ali are without facilities and even a training field but they make it up in heart and desire. Who will win? Cyclekick is about honour, pride and the joys of youth culminating in a pulsating climax that will show who will KICK or be KICKED!!!