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Shoplifters DVD Review

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“Shoplifters” is an involving character piece.

Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2019 Academy Awards, writer/director Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s “Shoplifters” tells the story of a non-traditional family…if you want to call them that. There’s a construction worker and his wife who works at a laundry service, a young woman (Aki) who works at a hostess club, two young children (Shota and Yuri) that have been taken in/kidnapped by the husband and wife, and an old woman (Hatsue) living on her pension. Together these people live at Hatsue’s place illegally as they do their best to survive in poverty. Of course, given that the film is titled “Shoplifters,” that is also involved.

“Shoplifters” is less of a story driven movie and more of a character driven piece that explores the lives of this abnormal family. Through the character’s actions and lives, the story explores subjects such as broken homes, the past, secrets, lies, greed, love, crime, and family. The dynamic between these characters is initially a bit of a mystery that unfolds as the film progresses. Really, that is what holds the movie together from a plot perspective. However, the lack of a traditional story matters little here as the characters are so fascinating. You are locked into their outside the box lifestyle and you want to see where their futures lie and what these people’s pasts are all about. Ultimately, it’s a complex, challenging and ultimately surprising journey.

It should be noted that the entire ensemble here is fantastic. Lily Frankly as the husband, Sakura Ando as the wife, Mayu Matsuoka as Aki, to Kairi Jō as the young Shota, Miyu Sasaki as Yuri, and the late Kirin Kiki as Hatsue all have great chemistry together.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1. How does it look? The transfer is worthy of an A- grade.

Audio Track: Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? Given that this is a largely dialogue centric film, the track doesn’t have a ton to do. What it does do is deliver a quality track.

The only extras are trailers for other Magnolia Home Entertainment titles.

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February 9, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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