The Thief

Bomb Rating: 

"The Thief," like all ponderous musings on Russian history, serves up shot after shot of metaphor until we're too addled to move.

Hey, let's all move to Russia!

Okay, maybe not. But it seems to me that when America was just sticking its head out of the bowels of the depression, it was making films like "The Wizard of Oz" to try and cheer people up (or convince poor Kansas it was a total sinkhole -- I'm not sure which).

It would be nice if the Russians tried to do the same, because it would save the rest of the world the torture of having to sit through these dark, ponderous musings on Russian history. Yes, I know that it's always cold and, yes, I see from the five consecutive long panning shots that the countryside is somewhat lacking in "fun" -- as if the big, empty space Russia takes up on my world map didn't already make that bountifully clear.

"The Thief," like all ponderous musings on Russian history, serves up shot after shot of metaphor until we're too addled to move. Katya (Yekaterina Rednikova) is mother Russia; she marries Tolyan (Vladimir Mashkov) who claims to be a soldier but is actually a common thief. Get it? Toylan also lies to Katya's son, Sanya (Misha Philipchuk), by claiming to be Stalin's son. Get it yet? Think "historical angle." Think "Stalin was a lying, thieving bastard who stole from mother Russia and as a result was (this is a hint, now)... b-a-d."

If you guessed "Stalin was bad," congratulations -- you just saved yourself seven dollars.

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