A tightly made, uneven but generally strong and curious small time heist film
A start, clean, moody heist film. Not really a noir, but a short bank robbery narrative with some troubled main characters. Most of it occurs at night or inside and it has a precision to the photography and lighting that's beautiful. The plot is at first more straight forward than you might wish, and in fact the acting isn't evenly good, though solid enough to work. But it has a quiet startling steadiness and an almost petty drive for some money to pay someone off for a blackmail scheme.
What is meant to make it work is the realization that an ordinary bank clerk, even when driven to the edge, might not make a criminal. The pressures after all are too unexpected. And that the double-crossing he plans is not as clever as the double-cross his enemies have in mind. Exactly why all this is happening is slightly unexplained, or at least I missed it.
Besides all the gloomy tension there is a small town feel here, a Japanese parallel to the wonderful small Robert Wise film just one year earlier, "Odds Against Tomorrow." Neither is completely original in that bank heists are common enough--and they all have little twists. The twist here is the mind game that goes on between two of the bank employees (I can't say more).
And the twists continue beyond the main heist. That's when it gets most interesting, and narrows down to the two main actors on a train. It's quite archetypal at its best, formulaic at its most bland. And it's short, so give it a go.
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