Ive read that children feature prominently in Neorealist films, perhaps due to the innocent, untainted objectivity they bring to what they see an objectivity which the Neorealist filmmakers wished to themselves achieve.
The Neorealist had a unique sense of narrative form. Reacting against Hollywood and white-telephone conventions, Neorealist films tend to focus on character and the plot seems to evolve organically rather than being strictly dictated.
The story comes from the characters and their situation rather than character being determined and limited by a particular storyline. The shots not treated as they are in Hollywood with respect to editing. As units of information their job is to convey the essential information as quickly and clearly as possible. Neorealist films provide true continuity, and will even allow events which have no importance to intrude upon these events. For example when in movie Bicycle Theives Ricci’s son stops to pee. Neorealist films also differ from their Hollywood in the sense of the lack of a happy ending or really any conclusive ending.
The ending posed two questions to me and I felt tied into Italian Neorealism. Was Ricci wrong to steal the bike? And would it be fair if he stole it to save his family? This seems to admit that the reality is just never fully knowable. In an Italian Neorealist film, just like life, sometimes there are no answers.
In conclusion, Italian Neorealism provides us with the paradigm example of Realist filmmaking. Its main focus is on the everyday struggles of poor, working class people in difficult socio-political conditions. In terms of narrative, Neorealism differs from Hollywood by focusing on character, and allowing plot to develop organically.
The ending did not really have a conclusion or was concluded in a way that does not answer everything and satisfy the viewer in the way that a Hollywood movie would. In Neo-realist films judgments are made as to the morality or otherwise of characters and their actions.
Which brings questions on morality that we can not answer. All of this allows space for the viewer to interpret the scene or film for themselves and come to their own conclusions. Despite being short-lived, Italian Neorealism has had an enormous impact on the development of film which continues to this day.