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How to steal jewels and influence people

‘Smash & Grab’ presents an insider’s view of a heist

August 27, 2013, 12:00 am

One of the so-called Pink Panther jewel thieves was just arrested in the south of France, and look! Here’s a movie about the Pink Panthers, Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers. How timely!

Crime movies have become rote and stupid (just check out Ain’t Them Bodies Saints for a prime offender), but Smash & Grab is fun, partly because it purports to use members of the gang to tell its story. Does it? Sure, why not? Smash & Grab makes the claim that some of the voices are real, and some are actors, and some of it definitely feels acted, so why not believe some of it is authentic? 

If there’s one thing that doesn’t work, it’s the presence of animation to round out the narrative, a documentary crutch that has been used more and more often in recent years, and has become more and more irritating. It would be one thing if the animations were being used to explain some sort of cinematic or story artifice, but they aren’t. They're used for style and to fill gaps.

Still, it’s pretty fascinating stuff. Bonus: There's a good overview of the 20th century history of the former Yugoslavia. The Pink Panthers have reportedly made off with more than $300 million in jewels. Yikes. 

Directed by Havana Marking
The Screen
89 min.


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