film 86 of 103

The Klepto-maniac

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 28, 2015

See review for The Ex-Convict; ditto, this one. The Klepto-maniac is more conceptually than dramatically effective. Still, it’s effective. As the notes point out, without some explanation the situation is not entirely clear. Everything is overplayed (that little girl is really good!), so that our sympathies and hostilities are never in question. Movies will need to address this, and they should fix it. (That work is still with us, even still before us.)  The problem is like that great big problem in the middle of Griffith’s Way Down East (1920). Its central, plot-propelling villainy is so villainous that we can only feel a kind of outraged moral superiority. The more complex, hegemonic reality remains unportrayed, unanalyzed, unalloyed.

This is a fair criticism that I’m making. I’m also wanting to make it in a way that is both unemphatic and affirmative. One thing at a time!