Thursday, April 7, 2016
TIFF KIDS Film Review - HOW TO STEAL A DOG
The 2016 TIFF KIDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL APRIL 8-24 at Bell Lightbox.
HOW TO STEAL A DOG - Screens Saturday April 9 at 3:30 P.M. Ages 9-13
Ji-so (Le Re) does not want to let others know her living situation. When she gets a ride home from school she asks to be dropped blocks away from the supposed location of her home. The reason being that she is homeless and lives in a van with her mother and baby brother. Their father had left home and her mother moves from job to job not able to establish a working career.
Ji-so has an idea of how to get her family get back on track. She sees a flyer showing the large amount of money that the wealthy will pay to recover a lost pet then another that advertises homes available for a starter price of 500 won. She lets her best friend Chae-rang (Lee Ji-won) in on her plight and plan.
They target a dog of Lady Marcel the owner of the that Ji-so mother currently works. The girls work up an elaborate plan with Ji so's little brother Ji-seok (Hong Eun-taek) often being the voice of reason despite comments that anyone named seok is not very smart. The pair take a couple of attempts at the feat but meet strong opposition from the owners nephew who has plans of his own for the pet.
Director Kim Seong-ho adapted the story from a novel by Barbara O'Connor, Seong-ho rounded the dark edges, added in several spots of humor delivering a film with several good messages. Stealing is never a good idea. Do not judge people on first impressions. Being truthful to yourself and others is always the best course of action.
The child cast is the centre of the feature and perform their roles well. Le Re as Ji-so shows many different sides to her performance. She's plotting, a planner, minds her baby brother, is bratty to her mom because of the family situation and is contrite and apologetic in her pivotal scene with Lady Marcel. Kang Hye-jeong is strong as the family matriarch who is determined to get her children a home despite a string of failed employment opportunities.
How to Steal a Dog is a light feature with some valuable lessons mixed in with several comedic moments. The ending is what the viewer would expect however the film is worth a watch.
*** Out of 4
How to Steal A Dog | Kim Seong-ho | South Korea | 2014 | 109 Minutes.
Tags: Pizza Van, Homeless, Doggie Day Care, Inheritance, Hotel, Dognapping, Bankrupt.