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Pick Pocket (1997)
"Xiao Wu" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1997 (China)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 960 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 16 critic

Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »

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Title: Pick Pocket (1997)

Pick Pocket (1997) on IMDb 7.5/10

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6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hongwei Wang ...
Xiao Wu
Hao Hongjian ...
Mei Mei
Zuo Baitao
Ma Jinrei
Liu Junying
Yonghao Liang
An Qunyan
Jiang Dongdong
Zhao Long
Wang Reiren
Jinfeng Gao
Li Renzhu
Wu Juan
Ji Jinshu
Ren Zhaorui
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Storyline

Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a hooker he is forced to think about his future. Can he break with his criminal past? Written by ZOO-9 <b.vanrijnsoever@student.kun.nl>

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Drama

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1997 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Pickpocket  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zhangke Jia:  the man sent by Xiao Yang to return Xiao Wu's wedding present. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unknown Pleasures (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
great story, great cast, great film
1 December 2004 | by (Beijing) – See all my reviews

Unlike a lot of other contemporary Chinese films, Xiao Wu succeeds in gaining viewers empathy for the title character. We never really find out how the so-called "artisan pickpocket" got himself into the state he's in; it's almost as if he woke up one morning to find that he was alone and jobless at an age when he should be settling down like all of his friends. However, not knowing how he arrived at this point makes his growing desperation more tangible as we see him reaching out to everyone he can, only to be rejected.

Wang Hongwei is amazing as the title character, he makes it easy to relate to the character's loneliness and longing. Considering the actors in Xiao Wu are all amateurs, Wang's performance is even more amazing. Granted, he was given a great character to work with: in spite of his occupation, Xiao Wu is a nice guy. (His beautifully awkward relationship with the karaoke hostess is a fine example of this).

All in all, I think this is one of the best Chinese films from the past decade. The characters are better developed than in other contemporary films, and the story is neither contrived nor simplistic. Xiao Wu would seem to be a lot more accessible than other Chinese art films because it lacks the slow bits characteristic of that genre. I would highly recommend Xiao Wu to anyone interested in Chinese cinema.


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