Last year, Steven Garza, TD ’12, created The Bike Robber, an independent short film conceived in brainstorming sessions between friends. It profiles the monotonous life of David, a plaintive bike thief residing in New Haven. By night, David searches for flashy bikes; by day, he sells them. He justifies his profession as a form of opposition to the “systematic nepotism” of the upper class. David claims to be content with his life; many visually disorienting scenes, however, accompanied by an unpolished and sometimes grating soundtrack, render the viewer skeptical of the authenticity of David’s professed satisfaction with his life. With the help of his male lover, David reevaluates his life and ultimately decides to move to the south, despite his previous conviction that “every place is the same.”
While the cinematography in The Bike Robber is compelling and creatively executed, lackluster acting inhibits the overall emotional drive of the storyline. The film’s script contains moments of depth and poignancy, but subpar acting makes the film unable to deliver on those moments. For instance, there are select exchanges between David and his boyfriend clearly intended to substantiate the film’s overall figurative significance, whose thematic impacts are diminished by acting that is ultimately ineffective in those passionate moments. Without much emotional investment, it is difficult for the viewer to fully comprehend the story’s message, which is muddled by contradictory dialogue to begin with. In sum, the overall delivery of the film’s message does not do justice to the sense of humanity and inspiration that are the clear motivation for Garza’s efforts.