Pickpocket (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama

Pickpocket (1959) Poster

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.


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25 August 2006 | rooprect
| NOT an adaptation of "Crime and Punishment"!
Looks like there are a few negative reviews from misguided people who thought that this was supposed to be an adaptation of Dostoyevski's "Crime and Punishment". Let me say this slowly...




There are many allusions to C&P which were quite deliberate. But don't expect it to go any further than that. Instead we get a very complex & original work which, if anything, is more like Faust by Goethe. (But don't expect Faust either.)

The camera-work is primo. It's very fluid and keen, capturing so much in each motion, much like Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece "Rope" but even better in many scenes. And unlike many of the other French "nouvelle vague" directors of the 50s-60s who felt obligated to be weird in order to make a statement, this film was done very lucidly. We don't get gratuitous weirdness like long scenes of the backs of people's heads (Godard). Instead, this is more subtle in its approach to art. It's meticulous and very finely detailed, and that speaks for itself.

My only criticism is that the ending didn't seem believable to me. I think it happened too quickly, whereas the rest of the film was given ample time to breathe. So I was kinda left saying, "huh? where did that come from?" But I dunno, maybe I missed something. Overall this is some pretty good stuff. It's my first Bresson film, and it renews my faith in French movies of that period.

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