Realism isn't for me, I don't think. Or, maybe I'm just at the point where when i hear 'inspired by italian neorealism' I turn away. Don't get me wrong, there are some great things about this film. The simplicity of the storytelling does re-enforce the class conflict, struggle of poverty and joy of adventure. there is no place Ray's camera doesn't go, which makes it a fascinating and uniquely cinematic story in how it feels like you're really experiencing these events in the way the child characters do.
I can also understand why, if plot is your favourite thing about a film, this may be so strong. However, I would say at this point in time I prefer films with a more expressionistic style, and as such this film, which to me felt like so many others with its stationary camera and long discussions about domestic life, struggled to keep me engaged.