The Thief (1997)

Both Gui and Mi have been recommending this Russian movie to me for quite sometime. I finally managed to pull myself away from the computer and watched it yesterday. What a wonderful tale! What beautiful cinematography! The color scheme was mainly an earthy tone. Golden grass, dark brown landscape and cityscape, and white cold snow covered land. Among all these cozy but almost dull details of post WWII soviet society, there was the pair of piercingly blue eyes of the little boy. Absorbing all that was to see.

I liked the narrative’s matter-of-fact tone, and the un-sentimentalized relationships among the main characters. The intimacy was expressed in a look, a giggle, a climb up the ladder with a girl, a downcast of the eyes of a boy pretending to be shy and well-behaved, and a fizzy threat a moment later by the same boy. It has none of the clear-cut morality divisions, nor elevated judgment or empathy on human condition like many Hollywood movies. But it has subtlety, and little people’s ambivalence. It wasn’t trying to teach us a lesson or to inspire us to be a saint. It simply expressed what it was like to be human.

It was a simple story that was told well. The Thief. Highly recommended.

3 thoughts on “The Thief (1997)

  1. How could that be news to YOU? You were the one who blabbed out the ending before i even watched it. shhhhhh! don’t tell the ending here in case there are other people who hasn’t seen it!!!

    short term memory does has its benefit. You can watch it again and it will be a complete new movie to you! 🙂

  2. I knew that Gui had made you aware of it but I wasn’t sure if she said ‘this movie is good’ (= recommendation) or ‘in the absence of anything better, you might want to watch this one’ (= mention).

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