Sparrow | Chicago Reader

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87 minutes
Hong Kong master Johnny To shuns violence for visual ballet in this light but enjoyable underworld drama (2008). Four brothers, led by the charismatic Simon Yam, work the streets as pickpockets, and individually each becomes smitten with the same beautiful and mysterious young woman. Every direct encounter with her provokes an attack by brutal thugs, so the brothers unite to liberate the young woman from the old-school pickpocket behind the attacks. To concludes with a meticulously choreographed duel that features twirling umbrellas in a nocturnal downpour; shot largely in slow motion, it rivals any guns-a'blazing climax in its poetry and drama. In Cantonese with subtitles.

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