Posted in Fantasia 2015, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Robbery Fantasia 2015 review

robberyRobbery / 老笠 / lou5 lap1 (2015)
Director: Fire Lee
Screenplay: Fire Lee, Frankie Tam, He Xin
Cast: Derek Tsang, Lam Suet, J. Arie, Ken Low, Philip Keung

Note: The next screening is on Tuesday July 28, 3:10pm.

This film is worth watching because of its unpredictability and the way it often subverts expectations. It’s best not to know anything before watching. As the time progresses a bunch of different people (shop owner, two employees, a cheerleader, homeless ex-con, a rival shop owner, a cop and a criminal boss) get stuck in a convenience store robbery but the one who holds the power keeps shifting. There’s a lot of absurdity and laughs in the situations. Although we are first introduced to a 32 year old male loser as the main character, the film is mostly an ensemble piece where all the ridiculous characters get to show their true colors.

The actual colors of the film are interesting and add to the atmosphere. Some scenes are strongly tinted with yellow and blue while others with green. There are some weak special effects like the obvious explosions but that’s the only downside. The cinematography manages to remain interesting despite filming being isolated to one location.

Story-wise, it’s hard to comment without spoilers but arguably the actions of the characters could be representative of something other than what is literally seen on screen. Because what happens on screen is utterly ridiculous yet entertaining. There are definitely a few “WTF! I can’t believe that actually happened” moments. I will say that I think the cheerleader was treated unfairly the whole time and didn’t deserve any of it. I also wonder if the blow job + popping candy is a reference to the film Vulgaria but regardless it came off as pretty gratuitous as does most of the close-up shots of her body. Other scenes are not necessarily all for simple shock value as there is definitely some social commentary mixed in with the bullets and sadistic humor. The ending is puzzling to say the least but it’s the reason why I wrote the first sentence of this paragraph. Maybe further analysis will reveal everything to be a load of nonsense but its the type of absurdity that is well worth a viewing.

Seen in the theatre at Fantasia 2015

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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