- Directed by Xavier Guignard -
“Little Thief” is the depiction of a dystopian love drama.
In an alternative reality, women make 80% of the world population. On the one hand, they dominate the society and make the rules; on the other hand, they chase for a life partner. The question seems to be what happens to romantic relationships in such circumstances? They become state controlled. But aren’t they already in our real lives? They are, and the role reversal in this short shines a light on the possible absurdity of setting official rules for the population's private life.
In the portrayed universe, women are the power sex. And when it comes to securing the relationships with tone of the men available, they plan marriage proposals, worry about refusals and obsess over loyalty. However, the details of this system are not clearly presented.
The director manages to sketch a film noir mysterious atmosphere, with a general feeling of austerity and darkness. The set design contributes greatly to the ambiance, the choice of nude colors and sleek surfaces give the impression of a futuristic world that only resembles our reality. The soundtrack well complements the image, enhancing suspense and guiding the audience throughout the narrative.
Nevertheless, the story gets murky in the second half of the film. The viewer might get confused by the resolution. The lack of attention to details, from plot to acting, adds to a general impression of disbelief. For example, a woman immediately collapses just after being stabbed once with a knife.
The character chemistry is non-existent and as we reach the end, the dialogues are more and more linearly spoken. Also, the editing and shot pacing of this short haven’t reached their best possible form yet and while the beginning sequences of action have been tackled more carefully, the rest of the film doesn’t really have a rhythm, which makes it hard for the spectator to keep focused.
Regarding the story, a better insight into the relationship between the two main characters would have been necessary; their common space looks like a hotel room and their discussions are bland. We get to know more about their connections with the outer world through their meetings with friends.
All in all, the overall concept of the film is thought-provoking, leading viewers to meditate on the attributed social roles and the accepted norms of modern society.