Published on June 18th, 2007 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Street Thief
WARNING: Major Spoilers Within
Street Thief is a great film, but its no documentary. No matter how much the marketers want you to believe that the contents could be, or are real, there’s just too much to this film that plays out too conveniently for you to ever really take it as a serious piece of documentary filmmaking. The film is a stylized, suspenseful and very entertaining look into the life of a burglar, planning his jobs, casing the places, and putting himself into all sorts of situations where getting the job done is key, and being forgotten is almost mandatory.
The film focuses on criminal Kasper Carr who we understand is being followed by a few documentary filmmakers wanting to focus in on his craft and how he does what he does. Right from the start you’re hesitant to believe this as anything but a fictionalized and glorified life, but the screen presence of director Malik Bader, who portrays Carr, is so engrossing that your almost hostage to watch. Our introduction to the character is him so eloquently breaking into a corner store and making off unknown amounts of cash. As he explains, it’s best to hit minority neighborhood businesses who do everything in cash, this certainly holds true until the film’s ultimate score.
The camera work is another dead giveaway to the nature of the film’s truthfulness as highly stylized lighting and camera work shies away from the more one-the-fly filming you’re used to for a film like this. Personally watching This Film Is Not Yet Rated and Street Thief back to back only amplified the gritty nature of the documentary and the clean look of Carr’s misdeeds.
It isn’t until the final act of the film that the wheels start to unravel in the storytelling department as the mysterious disappearance of Carr is inter-cut with clips of him earlier in the film maybe foreshadowing his ultimate plan, but there are a lot of loose ends that the filmmakers neglect to come through on. During the film’s big heist at a Cinemark Theater there’s special effort made to show Carr stealing a number of VHS tapes, although we never find out what they were. We also never learn what happen to Carr, and as huge advocates of the non-Hollywood ending this should please even the staunchest critics, but the open door here is more of a tease than anything else.
As a work of fiction Street Thief is a great way to spend 90 minutes, and as infatuated with the big heist film as we are in America (see: Ocean’s series) there’s a lot to like and a lot of pulp to this piece. The studio and cable network might want you to think of it as something more, but in the end it’s a work of fiction, good fiction, but fiction all the same.