Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Review

Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Review | by

Recommended Audience: Fans of Lily Franky 中川雅也, Jyo Kairi 城桧吏, Sakura Andô 安藤樱, Kiki Kilin 樹木希林, Mayu Matsuoka 松冈茉优 , Sasaki Miyu 榊美優 and Japanese movie fans

Shoplifters Japanese Movie

Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Synopsis

After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces.

Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them…

Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Viewer Rating: 4.5/5 ****

Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Review:

“What makes a family?” This is the question that the director used to form his story, and the question that will stay in your mind after watching the film. It also seems like an arthouse film on first sight, but the performance of the cast, story and visuals are definitely worth the watch.Shoplifters Japanese Movie StillKore-eda was able to tell the perspective from not just the individual members within the family, he was able to bring in the opinions of the society, the media and the neighbourhood without explicitly presenting them in your face. If you are a #TeamCap, watching this film felt exactly like the moment in Captain America: Civil War when you discovered that Steve Rogers was aware of the fact that his best friend, Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier, had killed Iron Man’s parents and not said anything at all – The heart breaking realisation that the enviable family I’ve been rooting for wasn’t exactly who they seem to be.

The familial bonds are intricately presented, and if you take time to ponder over each of them – Osamu (Lily Franky) and his ‘son’ Shota (Kairi Jyo); grandmother Hatsue (Kirin Kiki) and ‘granddaughter’ Aki (Mayu Matsuoka); as well as the wife Nobuyo (Sakura Ando) and little ‘Yuri’ (Miyu Sasaki) who was taken off the streets without permission. It was so difficult to define whether their actions were correct or wrong, or if they are good or bad individuals.
Shoplifters Mayu Matsuoka Kirin KikiBoth Samuel (my movie kaki) and I enjoyed how the director shows time progression. The seasonal transition was expressed subtly by the way the characters behave during the seasons. The whole story felt so real that I wondered if this was based on true events.

If I have to nitpick, it would be the lack of proper closure to some of the characters (not saying who so that I don’t spoil the story). The director made us cared for the characters and left some loose ends hanging, and that was heart-breaking for me. The film definitely deserves more awards. 🙂

Do You Know?

9685971dKore-eda Hirokazu returns as the writer, director and editor of the film about love and theft. He developed the story for Shoplifters when considering his earlier film with the question “what makes a family”? He had been exploring this question for 10 years before making this “socially conscious” film, which is the Cannes 2018 Palme d’Or winner.

Behind The Scenes and Interviews

Check out Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Japanese Facebook Page or English Facebook Page!
Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) is out in cinemas on 12 July 2018.

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*Disclosure: Invitation from Clover Films. No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.

8 thoughts on “Shoplifters Japanese Movie (万引き家族) Review”

  1. I have not watched many Japanese movies but this sounds like a great film indeed. Thanks for the in depth review.

  2. Emily (@amummytoo)

    It looks like a quite emotional movie. I love the look of the beautiful cinematography. I’d like to see it for sure.

  3. This sounds like a great, moving movie! It’s such an original plot too. We are re-making too many of the same movies in America, I’m ready to see something new!

  4. I have not been watching any Japanese movie lately after been living in Japan for few years. I guess it is time to watch a Japanese movie to refresh my Japanese. Great review and thanks for sharing.

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