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
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.
(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.
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...
The Point (Short Review)
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.”
Rant (Long Review)
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
(Captivatingly Bohemian-ish with a tinge of noir,
Sparrow might just steal your heart)
Review by Richard Lim Jr