Shoplifters: Film Review – Kore-eda’s Deceptively Simple Masterpiece

Shoplifters: Film Review – Kore-eda’s Deceptively Simple Masterpiece

By Rochell Pereira5 July, 2019 2 min read
Shoplifters: Film Review – Kore-eda’s Deceptively Simple Masterpiece

Verdict: A heart-wrenching and profoundly moving drama.

Known for his deeply humanistic filmography, director Hirokazu Kore-eda returns with another social drama in Shoplifters. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last year, the film even took home the Palme d’Or and has been receiving critical acclaim ever since.

What’s Shoplifters About:

During the winters in Japan, Osamu Shibata (Lily Franky) and a young boy named Shota (Jyo Kairi) make their regular rounds shoplifting at a nearby supermarket. On their way home, they come across a timid little girl named Juri (Miyu Sasaki) who is starving and freezing in an alley. They take her home, where they live with Osamu’s wife Nobuyo (Sakura Ando), an eccentric old woman they lovingly call Obachan or Grandma (Kirin Kiki), and a young woman named Aki (Mayu Matsuoka). Despite having too many mouths to feed, Nobuyo feels compelled to protect the little girl who comes from a deeply troubled household. Soon, Juri is lovingly welcomed into the family. Shota, on the other hand, begins to have conflicting feelings about their way of life. As he chooses between being practical and moral, one exposing incident leads to another and the whole family’s skeletons come tumbling out of the closet.

What Works:

There’s so much that director Kore-eda does right with this extraordinary drama. But what stands out most of all is his ability to flip the film on its head without breaking away from the resonating truth. Shoplifters begins as a slice-of-life family drama that delicately entangles itself into a web of conflict and pain. When the knots begin to break, every emotion you feel as you get to know the lives of the characters is multiplied. Kore-eda carefully constructs an affectionate family setting and then quickly deconstructs it with equal care in a heartbreaking final act.

The performances from the lead cast are remarkable. You can almost see them growing closer to their characters and, even in the most shattering moments, their delivery is pure and true. Each character is intricately woven into the other, creating a family that is truly beautiful in its own broken way. Osamu and Shota’s relationship is beautifully tender while Juri acts as a catalyst for the family’s love as well as secrets that bubble up to the surface. What’s really notable is how the final act pulls apart the humanity of the characters and yet you can’t help but care for them even more than you did before.

In spite of all these intense emotions, Shoplifters is never preachy or melodramatic. It is so gentle and moving and at the same time, it deals with a group of abandoned people and all the things they lose and find within each other.

What Could’ve Been Better:

Shoplifters might not be climactic in the sense that it doesn’t lead its characters towards a conclusive resolution, but that’s just us being nitpicky.

Why You Should Watch:

Shoplifters is really a masterpiece. Everything from the performances to the poignant plot is brilliantly different from anything you’ve seen before.

Book tickets for Shoplifters now >>

Rochell Pereira
Written by

Rochell Pereira

Trending articles

Video: The World Needs A Real-Life ‘Vakeel Saab’ Like Pawan Kalyan

Video: The World Needs A Real-Life ‘Vakeel Saab’ Like Pawan Kalyan

Power Star Pawan Kalyan’s latest theatrical Telugu film, Vakeel Saab, released in select theatres across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on April 9. Kalyan plays an angry, young lawyer, Satyadev Konidela in this film which is a remake of the Hindi film Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan and Tapasee Pannu. Vakeel Saab has already garnered great reviews and box office success.
By Manasi Rawalgaonkar < 1 min read
There Are Many Reasons To Watch ‘Karnan’ And Dhanush Takes Top Honours

There Are Many Reasons To Watch ‘Karnan’ And Dhanush Takes Top Honours

Mari Selvaraj’s penetrating social drama ‘Karnan’ starring Dhanush has just spent a few days at the cinemas but audiences and critics alike are already calling it a modern masterpiece.Here’s why Karnan should be on your radar.
By Sharanya Sankar 2 min read
Fans Of Jr NTR And Koratala Siva Have Reason To Rejoice

Fans Of Jr NTR And Koratala Siva Have Reason To Rejoice

There’s exciting news for fans of Jr NTR. The blockbuster combination of Jr NTR and Koratala Siva is officially confirmed in an announcement on the Telugu movie ‘NTR30’.
By Ajay Mudunuri < 1 min read
See more articles
Privacy Note
By using website), you are fully accepting the Privacy Policy available at governing your access to Bookmyshow and provision of services by Bookmyshow to you. If you do not accept terms mentioned in the Privacy Policy, you must not share any of your personal information and immediately exit Bookmyshow.
List your Show
Got a show, event, activity or a great experience? Partner with us & get listed on BookMyShow
Contact today!
Copyright 2021 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
The content and images used on this site are copyright protected and copyrights vests with the respective owners. The usage of the content and images on this website is intended to promote the works and no endorsement of the artist shall be implied. Unauthorized use is prohibited and punishable by law.