The Light Thief

"Excellent"

The Light Thief Review


This beautifully made fable from Kyrgyzstan tackles big themes in its story about the encounter between poor villagers and rich big-city businessmen trying to change their way of life. But the story remains intimate and often very funny.

In a small Kyrgyz village, the cheeky electrician (Arym Kubat) is simply called "Mr Light", and he's often in trouble for helping people get free electricity off the national grid. When he's drunk, he confesses to his friend Mansur (Toichubaev) that he wishes he and wife Bermet (Abazova) had a son instead of four lively daughters. And when rich businessman Bezkat (Sulaimanov) arrives, buying up land saying he wants to improve village life, he gives Mr Light a great job. But is Bezkat as nice as he seems?

The film is shot and edited with skill, revealing details of the characters through the colourful culture, stunning landscapes and quirky actions.

Structured as a series of black-out sequences, the film is infused with both dry wit and broad comedy, which cleverly provide a counterpoint to the underlying suspense in each scene. Mr Light is continually scales tall poles and trees, and a polo match played with a dead sheep ends in a scary confrontation.

Played with precision by Arym Kubat, Mr Light's cheerful idealism always seems on the verge of being slammed down. But with each setback he perseveres, always ready to help anyone in need and holding to a higher sense of morality than the wealthy people he works for. Indeed, this leads to the film's most startling confrontation, as Bezkat entertains visiting Chinese investors.

Between the breezy surface and the nervy undercurrent, the film is a fascinating look at a society where modern life collides with ancient customs.

One character's wife writes asking for a divorce so she can stay in Italy and get married there. Another sees a decadent display of modern technology, but is more impressed by a huge bowl of strange fruit. And a crowd of donkeys paces the dusty streets, punctuating scenes and hinting at a deeper meaning. Yes, some of this is a bit over-stated, but it's so engagingly well made that we're ultimately surprised by just how invested we are in these people's lives.



The Light Thief

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 2nd March 2011

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Aktan Arym Kubat

Producer: , , Thanassis Karathanos, Altynai Koichumanova, Cedomir Kolar, Denis Vaslin

Starring: Aktan Abdykalykov as Svet-Ake (as Aktan Arym Kubat), Taalaikan Abazova as Bermet, Askat Sulaimanov as Bekzat, Asan Amanov as Esen, Stanbek Toichubaev as Mansur

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.