INDIA: One of Kore-eda Hirokazu’s directorial films, ‘Shoplifters’ won the Palme de ‘or award at the 2018 Cannes film festival.
The 2-hour long movie emanates a subtle and a virgin screenplay and camera work.
Moreover, Kore-eda is admired for his sense of observing life as it goes on, this shows in how his camera is situated almost always in the right place to let know what is happening in the scene.
To add, the actors look like they have their own created, curated and contained experiences like in the movie.
Intrinsic nature of the film
In shoplifters, Kore-eda Hirokazu tells a story about a very unconventional family.
The two elders of the family, the husband and wife are living on the edge of poverty in occasional employments with low wage jobs. Hence, they shoplift to make ends meet.
Together with a young female and a boy they live in two rooms in their grandmother’s house, living off of her pension to cope up with their finances.
One day, on their way back from the store, stolen goods in hand, the father and son come across a young girl, just five years old. It’s cold out, and she has nowhere to go. It’s clear her house is no proper home for her and so they decide to adopt her secretly after learning the scale of abuse and neglect that the girl has undergone.
Furthermore, the several concurrent scenes from “Shoplifters” seem to hold no context that could possibly participate in the plot of the movie.
But after paying close inspection, it is all a spiral that shows different types of love, affection, and tenderness that would eventually come to make the conclusion stronger.
The plot of ‘Shoplifters’ unfurls slowly but delicately, revealing tender moments of love and hardship, bit by bit.
Interestingly so, the movie never quite shifts gears, but it slowly builds, and it pulls you in every step of the way.
The dialogues are fractured but real – nothing expository, just a family unit comfortable with its parts; luring you in with its ordinariness but also spelling out the genuine closeness of the “family” so subtly.
Certain scenes in the movie, for instance, the ‘fly on the wall’ scene was simply more brushstrokes painting the picture as a whole rather than driving the narrative, which was far more visual and definitely about “moments”.
Everything seems to be going well until a cascade of incidents sends the family into a spiral, and new truths begin to surface.
The strength of their bonds is tested, and the heartstrings of the audience are plucked at subtly and expertly.