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THE PLESAURE OF BEING ROBBED, 2008
Cast: Eleonore Hendricks, Josh Safdie, Wayne Chin, Francesca LaPrelle, Miranda LaPrelle
The story of a young woman whose compulsive curiosity leads to bold, elaborate acts of theft.
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This is an odd film to say the least. A young woman who has a compulsion to steal with no other than reason than curiosity finds herself first stealing bag of kittens from a little girl, grapes, a purse, and a car. We never get any insight into how her mind works other than her curious and impulsive nature clouds any bit of rational thinking she may have. Itís an interesting and at times intriguing story, but nothing really comes of it. The film passes no judgment on Eleonore and it shouldnít, but we go nowhere with her journey. So when it ends, youíre left wondering if you even care.
Itís a day in the life of scenario that spotlights Eleonore, a kleptomaniac who prances around New York lacking any responsibility or commitment to anyone. If anything sparks her interest or curiosity, she hones in on it, and eventually persists until accomplishing her tasks, which usually consist of stealing the items or valuables of others.
But hereís where the film falters and never recovers. No one comments on the nature of the character. Itís understood that the director did not intend to judge the character; however, her actions speak for themselves and if there was some sort of recognition about what sheís doing whether from her own commentary or from a friend, than it would have been a better payoff. But we get none of that.
There is however one great scene that if anything gave us a glimpse into the psyche on the character. After watching a woman tend to her child at a playground, Eleonore goes to the womanís purse sitting on the table. She quickly looks through for nothing in particular, just simply looking through. When the woman spots her, Elenore gets frazzled and clings to the bag almost like it was her own.
Itís an intriguing scene because the woman pulling her bag away asks the Eleonore what sheís doing, why is she looking through her bag? Eleonore however has no answer. She says I was just looking through it, nothing more. Her childlike answer and disposition was surprising but understandable. It helps to shed a light on her thinking. That there is really no rhyme or reason behind her actions. Itís her lack of human connection thatís rooted in her personality and she remains oblivious and unapologetic.
This scene occurs towards the end and although it was rewarding to watch, seeing how for the most part she got away with everything until finally getting arrested. But that leads to nowhere as well. Eleonore is unlikable. Maybe the characters in the film like her because they remain in the dark about her true nature, but if youíre watching, you only feel annoyed and bothered by her. The Pleasure of Being Robbed is not a bad film, but itís one really not worth watching. There is no pleasure in watching this, so pass.