EIFF 2016: To Steal From A Thief (2016)
AKA Cien años de perdón.
It’s a shame that I rewatched Inside Man only a couple of weeks ago, because that movie then popped to the forefront of my mind while watching To Steal From A Thief, a heist movie that involves some smartypants bank robbers, a deposit box containing something that certain people don’t want the public to see, and a deliberate attempt to confuse the police by mixing up who could be robbers and who could be hostages.
The other main point of comparison worth making here is that both movies mentioned are very good.
Rodrigo De la Serna and Luis Tosar are the two men who lead the bank robbery, inadvertently timing their heist on a day that also sees some heavy rainfall. In fact, it’s downright torrential, which comes into play later on in the movie, forcing plans to change and the chances of escape to diminish. While trying to focus on their plan, De la Serna and Tosar both have to deal with the fact that they’ve been manipulated, sometimes by one another but mostly by outsiders who have kept their hands clean, and figure out how to somehow get out with both their lives intact and a decent haul.
Director Daniel Calparsoro keeps everything moving along nicely here, although one or two scenes feel a bit repetitive, but he’s tripped up occasionally by the script, courtesy of Jorge Guerricaechevarria (who has written some great films such as Cell 211 and Day Of The Beast). Although he has laid out some great groundwork in terms of plotting and character sketches, Guerricaechevarria does himself a disservice by padding out the film with some unnecessary bickering and negotiations between the robbers and police that go back and forth and back and forth until forward momentum returns, just in time for the finale.
Despite the promising start, this is a film more about the characters than the situation that they find themselves in, although the two are inextricably linked. Both of the leads are on fine form, which helps to keep things enjoyable even during the weaker moments, and there are some very enjoyable performances from the supporting players, particularly from Raul Arevalo and Patricia Vico.
Some viewers may find themselves wishing for more, be it action or comedy or just a bit of edge, but what’s here is certainly a solid enough movie that most should enjoy, at the very least.
To Steal From A Thief is screening at 1800 on 16th June at Odeon 4, and 1545 on 19th June at Filmhouse 2.
DIRECTOR: DANIEL CALPARSORO
WRITER: JORGE GUERRICAECHEVARRIA
STARS: LUIS TOSAR, RODRIGO DE LA SERNA, RAUL AREVALO, PATRICIA VICO, JOAQUIN FURRIEL
RUNTIME: 96 MINS APPROX