Manbiki kazoku / Shoplifters (2018) - The perfect balance between emotionalism and intellectualism - 8/10 (16/02/19)
Shoplifters is an empathic Japanese drama nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It convinces with strong actresses and actors and especially child actors Sasaki Miyu and Kairi Jyo are absolutely incredible and should have a great career in the future. The film is directed calmly, intimately and precisely and shows us how a group of societal outcasts stick together to find a common purpose in life. The movie criticizes the perception of homeless, lonely and poor people and makes you wonder whether the actual kidnappers and thieves are to blame or whether those who ignored and mistreated them have a big part in their development.
The film tells the story of a group of poor people who live in a small house in a depressing neighbourhood of Tokyo that is owned by a lonely elderly woman who supports the group with her deceased husband's pension. One day, the adult labourer who has assumed the role of the family father and the young boy that has been living with the family for several years witness a sad girl on a balcony on a cold night while her mother is getting into a physical and verbal fight with a man. The laborer and the boy pity the girl and decide to take her with them. They initially plan to bring her back the next day but the girl doesn't want to go back and prefers staying with the family. She bonds with the unique group of people and especially looks up to the boy whom she perceives like an older brother she can trust. They spend much time together and learn positive and negative things from each other. When the brother however observes how his sister starts stealing in local shops like he has been doing for a long period of time, he decides to take the blame to make her stop. His selfless sacrifice has unexpected consequences on the entire group that considers itself a genuine family.
Shoplifters is a movie that will touch your heart but also involve your brain and make you think. Despite a slow pace, the movie is never dull and each character is developed carefully. The viewer ends up empathizing with the different characters despite their flaws because they are gentle at heart. The movie's ending will make you reconsider the values of family and friendship as the lines between good and evil are constantly blurred throughout the film. Shoplifter finds the perfect balance between emotionalism and intellectualism. It would certainly deserve most to win this year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.« Roma (2018) - Nostalgic depth - 7/10 (15/02/19)Serenity (2019) - One of the most creative thrillers in recent memory - 9/10 (20/02/10) »