Shoplifters is a harrowing film of survival and hope.

Writer/director Hirokazu Kore-eda follows a family of five on a shoestring lifestyle.  Despite being able to find ways to earn money, it’s simply not enough as they’re forced to lived under the pension of the oldest relative in their makeshift house (Grandma is played by Kilin Kiki, an actor with a mesmerizing presence who passed away this past September).  Their hard times push the father, Osamu (Lily Franky), to steal;  relying on the help of his son Shota (Kairi Jyo) to pull off these petty crimes of pocketing food, toiletries, and other minor household resources.

Desperation has the tendency to blind some individuals from being compassionate, which begins to happen to the featured family in Kore-eda’s film despite their love for each other.  A helpless stranger named Yuri, a young girl who seems to be an afterthought to her own parents, strikes the attention of Osamu and Shota, which ignites a newfound feeling of appreciation for the impoverished family as they extend their help to the girl.

Shoplifters, which has been hailed by many as one of the best films of 2018, is a strong piece of work.  It tells a sweet and tender story through resonating performances and Kore-eda’s humble direction.  As more conflicts come into play as Shota grooms Yuri to be a thief, the film doesn’t register them right away with tension and, instead, treats the audience with a gentle embrace.

Although Shoplifters could’ve used more pressure in its plot, it’s still a film of high quality.


Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.