The New York Times bestselling author Deepak Chopra states, “Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.”
“Thief” is a short film about a love triangle involving two women named Jenny (Chou Heng-Yin) and Ya-Ya (Zhu Zhi-Ying) who both fall desperately in love with Luke. They are forced to face each other when Ya-Ya steals Jenny’s phone. Director Jay Chern sets the short in a night market of Taipei where he captures the hustle and bustle of the city’s shopping district.
As Jenny strolls through the streets with Luke, Ya-Ya prowls in the background waiting for the perfect opportunity to steal the woman’s cell phone. She hopes of confirming her suspicions about Luke’s infidelity. Without giving too much of the film away, their spoken and unspoken dialogue leaves the viewer questioning what each woman will do with their unfaithful lover.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the film is that on the surface, it appears that Ya-Ya is a petty thief who goes around stealing to survive. However, as the film progresses, it becomes clear that two of the major themes are love and infidelity. A closer look shows that Ya-Ya is extremely hesitant about stealing from Jenny. In fact, a shot of Buddha sends a subliminal message of the her anxiety due to the immorality of her actions. The “love” theme is also shown by the very different reactions of the women as they discover their Luke’s two-timing ways.
In terms of photography, one of the film’s most impressive shots is taken at an angle from the ground where both women are shown from opposite sides of a store building in a dark ally. After the film’s screening at the Manhattan International Film Festival, Chern describes the atmosphere he tried to create with the film’s photography.
He states, “We took a page from ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’ We wanted to blend reality with fiction.” Chern accomplishes this by integrating a few shots without the use of a rig and some with a rig. He elaborates by sharing a funny story on the scene of the film.
“We were shooting from the fifth floor and the girl steals the phone. A lady then grabs her and yells, “Thief!” She whispers to the woman, “We’re shooting a film.”
“Thief” is an exciting story of romance through the eyes of two infatuated women who learn that love and crime sometimes go hand and hand.