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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.