(Review originally written at 8 January 2011)

No doubt that this is a very well done film but it at the same time also isn't the best or most effective one within its genre.

The movie has the same sort of story and approach as for instance the other European movies "Ladri di biciclette" and "Umberto D." but big difference with those movies is that you never feel the same sort of desperateness that the main character must have had. I just never felt it was a necessity for the main character to be a pickpocket. Surely he could had gotten a straight job, if he tried hard enough. It was just a way of life that he had picked for himself because it was one of the most easy things for him to do and felt more comfortable doing that than an actual normal job. The movie therefore felt kind of less involving and powerful to watch, than the earlier mentioned similar type of movies.

The main character also falls kind of flat due to the quite weak acting within the movie. Martin LaSalle's face remains basically the same throughout the entire movie, so all of the emotions also already fall kind of flat due to all of this. Apparently this was a type of acting-style that Robert Bresson liked but I'm just not much into it or impressed by it at all.

And the story also just doesn't work out that interesting because of all of that. The story gets mostly saved by the fact that the movie is being an extremely short one and therefore never starts to drag. It's not like the story is dull but it's just the type of movie that tries to pick a more realistic approach, with a more realistic and everyday type of story, in which not always an awful lot (interesting) is happening.

But oh well, it's still a very well shot film, so the movie remains for most part still a real pleasure to watch. All of the pickpocketing scene's are quite well done and show the art and skill that goes into it. No doubt some people, with criminal intentions, are taking notes from this movie, just like the main character from this movie was taking notes from a book.

A good watch but at the same time also a movie that you can easily do without.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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