The Thief (Vor) (Вор) (1997)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 617
A boy and his mother try to get by in the Soviet Union of the 1950s in this tragedy written and directed by Pavel Chukrai. The joint Russian-French production opens with a woman falling down in the snow and mud to give birth to a child in 1946. The boy's father is a soldier who died in the war. Katya (Yekaterina Rednikova) and her son Sanya (Misha Philipchuk) are next seen six years later on a train. Poor and desperate, she falls in love with a rakish soldier, Tolyan (Vladimir Mashkov). Tolyan
Oct 13, 1997 Wide
Sep 1, 2009
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It's a superb film in the classic style of screen storytelling, at once intimate and epic, possessed of lyrical beauty and suffused with that mixture of warmth, suffering and rueful humor so characteristic of Russian films.
It is clear fairly early in The Thief that the title character represents Stalin, and it's one of the strengths of the film that the symbolism never gets in the way of a convincing, heartbreaking story.
The Thief is a beautiful movie about terrible things that happen to a widow and her young son.
There is more to this picture than just an affecting story; for those who care to look, there's plenty of symbolism.
The powerful persona that is evoked by Mashkov, a Russian stage actor and romantic star of cinema, makes the melodramatics more convincing.
The film falls short as a romance, however, never achieving the depths for which writer-director Chukhrai clearly strives.
The Thief, Russian director Pavel Chukhrai's new film, is both a simple story simply told and an uneasy political fable.
The Thief is one in a long line of competent Eastern European movies that evoke the hardships of the Second World War II effectively but not exactly inspiringly.
As mentioned, the payoff to this isn't exactly surprising, but the scenes that precede it are very good, thanks to Chukhrai's suspenseful plotting and convincing dialogue, as well as the terrific cast.
Beautifully photographed by Vladimir Klimov and utilizing Victor Petrov's strikingly authentic set to resemble a railway car of the 1950s, The Thief provides us with a broad sweep of Russian everymen as well as its principal performers.
[Stealing] the show is the eight-year-old Philipchuk, whose wide eyes register awe, puzzlement and misery with a conviction not seen since Salvatore Cascio in Cinema Paradiso.
[A] clever allegory about the death of Stalinism in post-Second World War Soviet Union.
...every bit as brilliant as its reputation suggests and is the feel-bad movie of the month, to boot.
Philipchuk is absolutely endearing as the young Sonya, and Mashkov is powerful as the duplicitous con.
Audience Reviews for The Thief (Vor) (Вор)
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