HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rough Draft, A
Battle of the Godfathers
Lu Over the Wall
She's Funny That Way
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
   
 
Newest Articles
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
   
 
  Shoplifters Stay TogetherBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Lily Franky, Kirin Kiki, Mayo Matsuoka, Miyu Sasaki, Jyo Kairi, Sakura Andô, Kengo Kôra, Chizuru Ikewaki, Sôsuke Ikematsu, Moemi Katayama, Yôko Moriguchi, Yûki Yamada, Akira Emoto, Naoto Ogata
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Shibata clan think they have it pretty good as far as their quality of life goes, all things considered, though their lifestyle is not what one would call conventional. Indeed, they make most of their acquisitions through stealing; their daily meals, for example, are provided through shoplifting comestibles from stores around the city and bringing them home to the three-generation family. However, one night on the way home as winter is drawing in, the patriarch, Osamu (Lily Franky) notices a little girl shivering in a corner, and takes pity on her so decides to take her home to look after her himself, after all, the Shibatas are nothing if not caring and considerate...

Aren't they? Things were not as they seemed as the audience were finding their opinions of them shifting throughout Shoplifters, or Manbiki Kazoku as it was known in its original Japanese, quite deliberately having the rug pulled from under them by director Hirokazu Koreeda, not once but multiple times. This could have created a mood of confusion, but in effect was designed to reassess your prejudices and realise there was more than one side to any situation, something you may have been aware of anyway without this film telling you, but then again the tone was never condescending even if finally you may be uncertain of how Koreeda himself felt about his characters.

Certainly he felt sympathy for the two younger members of the family, though we are suspicious early on of how connected by blood they actually are, rightly so as it becomes apparent this is not a collection of relations, it is a gathering of waifs and strays who find solace and power in their own union when the rest of society would dismiss them. This compassionate contemplation of a traditionally shunned underclass was nothing new in cinema, it was the basis for all sorts of realist movements down the decades after all, but there was a sense this director was not necessarily going to allow them a free pass to the audiences' hearts, and they had to earn our respect and attention.

One aspect was non-ambiguous, the little girl Osamu finds and names Lin, though she claims her name is Yuri (Miyu Sasaki): she was purposefully intended to tug on the heartstrings pretty blatantly, a tiny moppet who we quickly learn was not out there in the cold because she was lost, but because she had been abandoned by abusive parents. As the Shibatas initially accept this new arrival, their supposed amorality is countered by the way they tend to the child and note the scars on her arms where she has been attacked by her mother, all of which lead them - and us - to believe she is better off with these criminals when they wouldn't dream of allowing any harm to come to the girl. Osamu reasons their shoplifting isn't a crime because the stuff they nick wasn't claimed by anyone yet, and that explains why he keeps the girl.

If her parents didn't want her, why not give her a good home? Ah, but then we are already questioning whether this is a good home she has landed in, and Koreeda made great play of testing our emotions when we are justifiably concerned for the most vulnerable character in the film. Were these people as good as they made out, or in their own view of themselves, at least? It depended on your point of view, as we see each of them behave lovingly to one another or even to someone outside their circle - sex worker "daughter" Aki (Mayu Matsuoka) feels terribly sorry for one of her clients, and comforts him, for instance - though perhaps the most moving sequence had the "mother" Noboyu (Sakura Andô) teaching Lin that love means hugs, it doesn't mean getting battered about by your parents. The eventual revelations were a shade too manipulative and stark given what had gone before, but this was a thoughtful work with a big heart yet a bigger take on harsh, complex truths. Music by Haruomi Hosono.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 333 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Hirokazu Koreeda  (1962 - )

Japanese director who has made both documentaries and dramas for Japanese TV as well as turning in some affecting feature films. Maborosi (1995) was a powerful study of a young woman coming to terms with her husband's suicide, Afterlife (1998) took an inventive look at life-after-death, while 2001's Distance deals with terrorism and sacrifice and I Wish a wistful tale of childhood. Our Little Sister gently developed his interest in the power of memories and in 2018, he was awarded the Palme d'Or at Cannes for his troubling, emotional drama Shoplifters.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: