The Light Thief (Svet-Ake) (2010)
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1
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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1
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A man who is guilty of minor corruption for benevolent reasons comes up against a man deep in major corruption for his own profit in this comedy-drama from director Aktan Arym Kubat. Svet-ake (Arym Kubat) is a good-hearted family man who works for the electric company in a small village in Kyrgyzstan. A number of folks in Svet-ake's neighborhood are seniors on a fixed income, and he helps them out by adjusting their meters on the sly to keep their bills low. Bezkat (Askat Sulaimanov) is a
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Director Kubat stars as Mr Light (the rest of the actors are mostly non-pros), giving a performance of profound warmth and humanity.
So, Mr. Light is only light, a simple hero in a small film that ignores the potential complexities of its characters and their decisions - it exposes the spread of corruption, but not its enveloping temptation.
The genial satire of the early scenes eventually gives way to bitter tragedy in a quixotic but charming salute to an irrepressible dreamer.
A touching, pawkily amusing example of that fairly rare genre, the satirical tragedy.
Cinematographer Hassan Kydyraliyev has done a good job, but the film - Kubat's sixth - belongs securely to this cherishable director and actor.
The Light Thief has its moments and features a strong central performance from Aktan Arym Kubat, but it's also frustratingly patchy and suffers from an uneven tone.
A film of hope, optimism and small acts of heroism. The visual backdrop is also stunning.
Despite bold imagery and topical social commentary, a slender running time leaves characters and scenes under-nourished.
The slow and unusual narrative lacks real drama but provides a compelling and beautiful depiction of village life.
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