Klepto (2003) Poster

(2003)

User Reviews

Add a Review
10 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Masterfully crafted!
ctznack31 October 2003
I too have seen KLEPTO and consider the listed review from Austin to be wildly inaccurate. KLEPTO is a self-assured directing debut by a director that has a bright future. So what if he chooses to tell a story through multiple angles? Must every film review of every film begin with the Hollywood formula, specifically that a film must follow a singular protagonist through a specific set of paces that we have all become so sensitive to that we can predict them in our sleep?!

Tom Trail has the good sense to take the O.C.D. psychological disorder and frame it in a real life situation, make it feel as though it could be the basis for those noises you hear coming through your own apartment wall, the life experience of a neighboring stranger you've never seen...His "Emily" as played by the juicy Meredith Bishop with conviction, despite her having to remain frail and unhinged, falls prey to the wiles and incliniations and ultimate scheme of the devious Security Specialist (watch for Jsu Garcia to become the next Latin male superstar in the Benicio Del Toro mold!). It's not at all "heavy handed" as one reviewer previously reported. It's a dance of sorts, the way "Nick" inserts himself into Emily's life right as her neurotic mother comes to stay for an unwanted visit.

For me it was the fascinating and visually strategic lines of two people paths coming together, becoming inextricably intertwined, that was so fun, so involving. This succint (the flick is a brisk 84 minutes) and astute character study breaks out of the gate at race horse's pace and never lets up! The photography, the smaller supporting roles, the music (some of it performed on a classical piano even!), and one of the best single take "long shots" of the year (eat your heart out Scorsese!) all approximate the material to the perfect degree. This film is like a complicated meal, one with many ingredients, all vital to its final finish as a dish...nothing is peppered in here with the "heavy hand" suggested by the previous reviewer and the result? Delicious and full of depth.

Find this film, whatever it
17 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Compelling and well-directed
iwascuredallright-25 December 2004
Thomas Trail's "Klepto" was a pleasant surprise. It is a fast- paced, tightly plotted character piece that never takes the

conventional path. Meredith Bishop gives a great performance

and constructs a sympathetic character that is always fascinating

to watch. The camera work is frenetic, yet controlled. There is

clearly a vision behind this film. The story kept me guessing until

the end, and did not disappoint. I especially like the fact that every

character in the piece is both dark and sympathetic, which

demonstrates a maturity in the writing and conception of the film. I

recommend this to anyone.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
For it's budget....amazingly compelling
bob_meg11 April 2011
I had no idea what to expect going into "Klepto" --- it's one of gillions of low-fi indie films that can be seen for the cost of a Netflix membership and a Web-ready device.

I knew it involved a shoplifter and a disgruntled security guard, so the permutations were going from the start.

I didn't expect the shoplifter, played with a marvelously wizened-sense of "been-there-done-that" by Meredith Bishop, to also be an OCD head case with abandonment issues. I didn't expect her mother to be played by the superb Leigh Taylor-Young, whose specialty seems to be making otherwise small character roles jump from the screen.

In short, the characterizations and acting are what really drives this film. No one is really as simple as you expect them to be...it's not a "this is the good guy and this is the bad guy" type of film. And even though the story kind of went down the alley I thought it would, it still threw me in a very nice way.

If you like well-thought out indie pics, give Klepto a watch. It's 82 minute run-time will fly by.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
wonderfully subtle indie film! :)
animation-320 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was pleased to find this gem of a film and appreciated its subtle, quirky and "watch"able (no pun intended) take on OCD and how the choices we make affect our lives.

It reminded me of Hal Hartley's films- most notably "Trust" - tho these characters, at least Emily, are not quite so dysfunctional and there seemed to be a slightly more positive vibe (or rather less bleak outlook) to this film than Hartley's. Or maybe they seem similar cuz of the synth music ;) which was perhaps my only major criticism of this film which had good acting, camera-work and editing. Being an indie film shouldn't preclude you from having cohesive musical themes for characters or situations across the movie tho. Some of the music felt out of place. But that's my own personal pet peeve.

Overall the movie certainly struck a chord for me at the parallels between Emily and Nick and their kinds of stealing and internal drives. And despite wanting a romantic ending for them - the way things turned out *felt right* as their motivations and ultimately their integrity were wholly incompatible and Nick deserved his fate. The parallels of Nick being a criminal like her father left had me wondering about the real truth about her father's life and her happy memories of him as it was obvious the OCD came from her mother's side.

There were a few loose ends to this script as the Austin reviewer said but they weren't enough to sway me away from liking it. I also liked Michael Nouri's small role as the amusing & warm psychiatrist- a nice casting touch.

I say watch out for Thomas Trail he's up for a promising career! I will certainly look out for more of his films.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
2/10
Heavy handed?
rolinmoe11 October 2003
The premise of the film is a good one...girl gets her jollies from stealing stuff, and she ends up in a bit of trouble when a security officer notices her. Unfortunately, the film drops the girl's journey at this point and focuses on a myriad of issues that it will drop later, leaving you asking "Why?" at the climax rather than caring about what is happening.

The film looks pretty good on-screen...I wish they had used some of their time in writing a decent script, and not just in the editing bay. Little of the dialouge is believable, and instances that bring people together are better written in soap operas than they were here. The film invests in characters it throws to the wolves later, making you wonder why you even watched the life of this person. Silly tricks start subplots, and dialouge rather than action end them. The big moment in the film is something you figure out as soon as the crisis is introduced.

I saw the trailer after I saw this film, and it reinforced my thought that the idea behind the film is intriguing. The log line on this film is a good one...but the film itself doesn't stick with it. If you're going to make a film about a girl who is addicted to stealing, make it about that girl. Don't use the middle of the film to take me five other places and then later come back to this girl and expect me to care. And if you're going to write a film with a female protagonist, give us a character that is written as a person and not as a guy's idea of what a girl is/should be.
10 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Compulsion
Claudio Carvalho5 November 2006
In Los Angeles, Emily Brown (Meredith Bishop) is a kleptomaniac and addicted in pills that misses her father and is having therapy sessions trying to resolve her compulsion. She has a record in the police for shoplifting, and her mother Teresa (Leigh Taylor-Young) is a compulsive shopper. The security guard Nick (Jsu Garcia) of the Bernstein's department store sees Emily through a camera and becomes fascinated for her. When Nick gets in trouble dealing ecstasy, he presses Emily to help him in a robber of Bernstein.

"Klepto" is a low budget movie, with an attractive story and good performances. Emily Brown is a shoplifter but the viewer feels sympathy for her nice character. Even the small time crook Nick is a sympathetic character. The conclusion is not romantic but fits perfectly to the story. In the end, "Klepto" is a good entertainment. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Clepto"
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
severely flawed
mdelvecchio1 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"rolinmoe" from austin hit the nail on the head. this movie had an interesting idea behind it, and started well. the time spent developing the chars in the first half was great.

then, the film suffers from an identify crisis. the characters deflate, doing & saying things that were very hard to believe. by the end it was obvious that the film itself was "out of character".

btw, biggest "Huh?" moment -- the main dude pulls his elaborate heist because he cant find the Scottish drug dealer and, inconveniently, his buddy died (er, nice plot device). OK. but *then*, after the heist he finds the scotsman on the street by chance -- and leaves him w/o getting his money. WHAT?? this is the guy that his very own life depends on finding! why did he leave him in the alley!? were we supposed to believe he inadvertently killed him w/ 3 punches? no way. anyway, a completely contrived, pointless scene.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
4/10
Filmmakers wasted their and our time
MBunge26 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Here's a tip for all aspiring screenwriters out there. If the middle part of your script really has nothing to do with the beginning or ending, that means you've written a bad movie and need to start over. The people behind Klepto never learned that lesson, so they wasted their time and mine making this dog of a film.

It starts out as the story of Emily Brown (Meredith Bishop). She's a young woman of average attractiveness who also happens to be a compulsive shoplifter. She doesn't steal for money, she just takes things to make herself feel better. Emily is seeing a therapist and taking an enormous amount of medication to deal with her OCD, but her need to steal is getting worse and she's becoming more reckless. When we find out her mother is coming for a visit and witness a couple of flashbacks to Emily's childhood with a man who's face we never see, it seems like Klepto is going to be a family drama about the secrets of the past and how they've shaped a young woman in unfortunate ways.

However, the movie largely ignores all of that after the first 20 or so minutes and instead focuses on the story of Nick Diaz (Jsu Garcia, whose first name appears to be missing at least one vowel). Nick is a store security guard who sees Emily stealing and lets her get away with it because he's inexplicably captivated by her, even though he's actually prettier than she is. Nick is a former criminal with a very bitter ex-wife. He's trying to go straight and start his own security agency, when he's not trying to get into Emily's pants. Nick can't get a bank loan, so he lets his degenerate friend Marco (Michael Irby) talk him into doing a drug deal. The plan is that Nick will get the money from an Armenian gangster he knows named Ivan (Henry Czerny), buy 20 thousand pills of ecstasy from one of Marco's contacts, give Ivan the pills and keep a cut of the money for themselves. Things go wrong, a couple of things happen solely because the story needs them to happen, and Nick ends up asking Emily to steal something for him.

At this point, the movie seems to suddenly remember it was supposed to be about Emily, her compulsive shopper of a mother, Theresa (Leigh Taylor-Young), and the supposed secret of their family. The utterly underwhelming secret is revealed, Nick demonstrates for the audience that most career criminals are immensely stupid and then the story ends without ever coming close to justifying the hour-and-a-half of my life I threw away watching it.

With the director also being a co-writer and the two leads also serving as producers, I think it's fair to say that Klepto is one of those movies that gets made so the filmmakers can enter it into festivals in the hope of getting noticed by some studio executive. But no studio executive, no matter how high on cocaine or distracted by hookers, could ever look at this movie and think the people who made it are worth a minute of his time.

This story has absolutely nothing intelligent to say about compulsive shoplifting, compulsive shopping or childhood memories. Nick Diaz' story is nothing but a string of clich├ęs interrupted only by moments when the Almighty Plot Hammer blatantly pushes the story along. The acting is perfectly fine, but the only character who does anything even remotely interesting is a drug dealer played by Michael E. Rodgers. When the best role in your film is a bit part that's barely on screen for 5 minutes, that's another sign you've written a bad screenplay.

The direction of Klepto is professional-looking but never more than ordinary, except for one long tracking shot that's clearly in the movie just because the director wanted to show he could pull off a long tracking shot. The effect is a bit like making macaroni and cheese out of the box and throwing a hot pepper in the mix, just for the heck of it.

Klepto is one of those movies that make you shake your head and shrug your shoulders. It doesn't have anything to say, yet also fails to say nothing in an intriguing or provocative way. Given the time, energy and money that goes into even a low-budget film like this, it's a mystery why any of the people involved ever thought THIS was the movie to which they wanted to devote themselves.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
3/10
This film fails and its a shame
jon-51026 July 2008
This film ultimately fails, and its really a shame. About halfway through the scriptwriters appear to just walk off and leave and the rest of the film falls flat on its face.

As a movie in its own right, Klepto is a disaster, however as a directorial debut (is it??) it is actually not bad - some of the use of music and the editing reminded me of the film Primer.

If the plot and script clumsinesses could have been resolved, this would be a film I could recommend to others. As it was (I bought it cheap), I kept the blank translucent box spare but threw the cover insert and the disc in the rubbish bin.

To the actors, director and writer(?) - please don't give up, you failed this time but you showed enormous potential.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
A Satisfactory Film By and Large
Uriah4312 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Emily" (Meredith Bishop) is a young woman who suffers from a mental illness known as kleptomania which causes her to steal merchandise from stores on a regular basis. Having been caught previously she is forced to perform community service as her punishment. She also sees a psychologist to help her try to overcome her condition. Then, as luck would have it, she is observed preparing for a heist by a department store security guard named "Nick" (Jsu Garcia) who becomes quite intrigued with her. Unfortunately, Nick has his own problems and it soon appears that any relationship between them is fraught with difficulties. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie and risk spoiling it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this turned out to be a satisfactory film by and large. Having said that I have to say that even though this movie is billed as a comedy I personally didn't see much humor in it. If anything I would probably consider it to be more of a crime-drama than anything else. In any case, I liked the movie and rate it as slightly above average.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews