How many times a day do we judge someone? We look what they’re wearing, what they’re driving, how they walk, or stand alone in the corner perhaps and it takes us all of 3 seconds to pass a judgment: stuck up, rude, stupid, uneducated, smart, beautiful…the list goes on. “Bohemian Like You” deals with this flaw and all of its aspects in short 8 minutes beautifully.
Billy, the Bohemian bookworm who for some reason or another works as a street sweeper, finds himself pigeonholed into uneducated and rude bunch first by a well to do “gentleman” (who is, ironically, rude himself) and then by his colleague. Both are unable to see Billy as anything more than a street sweeper, who is below or the same as them, respectively. And, although Billy is piqued by these judgments, he can’t help but judging himself – by idealizing Annie, the girl he sees everyday carrying a different book. He demeans his own sense of worth by thinking to himself – that girl is better than me, although he doesn’t know anything about her. Of course, he doesn’t escape her judgment also, which will eventually change by the end of the movie, even though she is portrayed as “ideal”. Her first judgment of Billy is a result of his colleague’s behavior, who yells profanities at her in the middle of the street. And although Billy’s just a stunned observer of this event, she still perceives him the same as his coarse colleague, because he happens to be with Billy. Even when he runs to apologize to her for his colleague’s behavior, her first reaction is to attack him, to yell all the insecurities and self-righteousness without stopping for a second to think about his motives for following her. Although her anger is justifiable to a point, she also falls into the same trap as everyone else – coarse judging a person based on a few sort-of-true facts she believes she knows about him.
The film is short and to the point. Even though some characters are true caricatures of people we could meet on the streets, their flaws amplified to get the point across, the storyline is smooth and believable. Dialog is free flowing and natural and Billy’s train of thought is easy to identify and sympathize with. It will leave you wondering how many street sweepers you have looked down on, and how other people perceive you. This insecurity is well known to anyone, no matter how successful (or not) they are. We are masters at deceiving ourselves into not having faith in our own abilities and character, and we are constantly frightened of people we don’t know. What if they are better than us, smarter, more eloquent, more well read? This fear of unknown is what made human beings excelent at quick judgment and „boxing up“everyone and everything. If I assign you a label, which carries a set of characteristic and „truths“with it, than suddnely you aren’t so scary anymore, are you? You are just another „Bohemian like me“.