An illegal Chinese immigrant falls behind on payments on an enormous smuggling debt. Ming Ding has only until the end of the day to come up with the money.An illegal Chinese immigrant falls behind on payments on an enormous smuggling debt. Ming Ding has only until the end of the day to come up with the money.An illegal Chinese immigrant falls behind on payments on an enormous smuggling debt. Ming Ding has only until the end of the day to come up with the money.
....And this ONE really has Cinema Verite written ALL over it! You never know exactly what to expect next. But, for the most part, nothing DOES ever really happen...and that, in the case of TAKE OUT, is a GOOD thing, believe me. Perhaps a bit cryptic and difficult to decipher at times, but I think that's because, culturally speaking, many Chinese Nationals seem to be a bit difficult to read!
Surprisingly, in the Special Features "Making-of" short, we learn that most of the cast are simply PORTRAYING characters from the Mainland. Of course, SOME of them really are, but most are Korean-American, Taiwanese, Malaysian, Chinese-American and Singaporean, ALL of whom speak perfect Mandarin. Wow! Sure fooled me!
A more accurate title might have been: "Chinese TAKE OUT Delivery Boy: A Day In The LIFE...or E-C Comah, E-C Goah!" If this zero budget film hadn't been executed with such overwhelmingly brutal and convincing precision, it most certainly would've been rated .75 to 1 full * less! From early on, my empathy with those on-screen was total and unwavering! They had me at "Sut- Tzun Tee-En-Hwah!"
At one point I actually said to myself, "Hey, they just followed this delivery boy around all day with a camera, that's why ALL this seems so REAL, because it IS REAL!" I consider myself a peace-loving person, but my identification with the characters in the film became so strong, that during one scene of injustice, I yearned for a gun to shoot the bad guys myself!
TAKE OUT does shine a spotlight on some important realities. It shows us how new arrivals are forced into a life of virtual slavery by bottom-feeders who trap them into a never-ending cycle of loans with astronomical interest- rates. Hey, you think YOU have problems!? Closing note: Considering the 3K budget, the production values aren't all that bad. Talk about getting a LOT of BANG for your BUCK! Your best bet...Let TAKE OUT serve you up a slice of Chinese-immigrant life!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
- Aug 2, 2016