Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of "Sparrow"
(Courtesy of GV)

In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles
Director: Johnny To
Cast: Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Lam Ka Tung, Lo Hoi Pang, Law Wing Cheong, Kenneth Cheung
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 26 June 2008


“Sparrow” is Hong Kong street slang for pickpocket. It describes the elegant skills of those who can lift wallets and escape being detected.

KEI (Simon Yam) is an experienced “sparrow”. He and his partners make a living picking the pockets of unsuspecting pedestrians. Kei also enjoys a carefree lifestyle, riding his bicycle through the city to take photos with his vintage Rolleiflex. One day a dashing beauty, CHUN LEI (Kelly Lin), suddenly appears in Kei's viewfinder. The sparrow is mesmerized.

Beneath Chun Lei's attractive facade lies a mysterious past. As Kei and his partners fall for her one after another, Chun Lei reveals her true intention: To have the sparrows steal something of great importance to her...

Movie Review:

The Point (Short Review)

“It’s a poignant, yet subtle love story set among pickpockets and an enigmatic damsel in distress; blended with a hybrid cross of oriental tunes with fluffy jazzy musical while adding a distinct certain cinematic noir element to it. It’s not easy to juggle so many elements but Director Johnnie To, his actors and his collaborators had skillfully snitched all these pieces together to deliver a simple but memorable story.”

The Rant (Long Review)

It’s quintessentially a love story that comes as breezy as a chance encounter, leaving nothing forced (unlike many cringe worthy romance flick that always choke romance down audience’s throat). But then again, it’s about delicate manipulation and deception among a bunch of pickpockets. The best part about Sparrow would be how the Director and his collaborators managed to merger both settings together to form a memorable love story.

Without over dramatizing the human emotions, Sparrow was effective in pulling out the different facets of love. From the luring attraction of the first encounter that set the heart fluttering, the foolish moments of the love struck and finally to the ultimate acts of sacrifice, are delicately described in this movie.

However, it’s not lovey dovey all the way as Sparrow touches on the ambiguity of human that weave a bland of noir feeling about it. Kelly Lin shines as the mysterious woman who charms effortlessly into the hearts of men with questionable jobs. Her portrayal of a frail helpless woman who is undeterred in seeking resolution for her dilemma was as joyful to watch as Simon Yam’s performance.

Simon Yam had once again subtly slipped in another fine performance for Director Johnnie To after so many collaborations. There isn’t any emotional scene for him but he captures viewer’s heart with his restrain charms. Why on earth has Simon Yam not received more acting awards for his acting performance? The last one that he gotten an award for was during PTU and let’s hope that he will received another one for his performance in Sparrow.

Captivating Actors aside, this movie relies heavily on it’s soundtrack and cinematography to deliver this “moody” piece of work. “Moody” in the sense that it does not mean grumpy but the type of emotional delights that it set the viewers in than impressing with the intricate of the plotting and showmanship.

The amazing soundtracks by Fred Avril & Xavier Jamaux are pretty much the soul of this film if Kelly Lin and Simon Yam represent the bodies. The catchy beats from the jazz mixed with a distinct bland of oriental tunes, resulting in a light hearted sexy sensual smooth mood that easily to fall for.

It’s coupled with great cinematic that is like a cinematic love letter to the city of Hong Kong. With an eye for the iconic features that define Hong Kong, this majestic sweeping viewpoint actually transform the busy city into a city that’s as lovely as Paris itself, helping to create the lovely feeling in the air.

Sparrow is a simple story that ultimately relies on the story teller, the soundtracks and cinematic angles to create atmospheric medium to fall in love with. Not everyone falls in love the same way but if you happen to like whimsical spontaneous chain of events and don’t relies on cringe worthy manner to tell you that love is in the air, Sparrow might just steal your heart.

Movie Rating:

(Captivatingly Bohemian-ish with a tinge of noir, Sparrow might just steal your heart)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. Mad Detective (2007)

. Triangle (2007)

. Eye in the Sky (2007)

. Exiled (2006)

. Election 2 (2006)

. Election (2005)

. Exodus DVD (2007)


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.