Friday, May 15, 2009

Movie Review: Sparrow (China)

Part of the 2009 Silk Screen Film Festival. The Silk Screen Film Festival runs in Pittsburgh through Sunday, May 17.

Johnny To brings Sparrow, a Hong Kong based movie about pickpockets. 'Sparrow' refers to a bird who appears in the life of the main characters, and is in and out of cages, as well as Hong Kong slang for 'pickpocket,' which is the main source of income for most of the principle characters.

The plot, well its silly. We have the pickpocket gang. The old-school gang who tries to show the younger upstarts how it is done. And the beautiful girl, in this case a caged sparrow yearning to get free. The plot is a silly thing, and the encounters are also a joke.

But the plot here is not the point. The cinematography is where all the work went into. The pickpockets at work montage. Various chase scenes of the sparrow trying to escape her handlers, the protagonists or the antagonists. The many now-you-see-me-now-you-don't scenes. The card table. And the final showdown of groups of people crossing the street in the rain carrying umbrellas. Silly as plot devices, but still fun to watch Johnny To set the visuals.

Enjoyable summertime nothing-serious movie

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