Toronto After Dark 2018: Our Review of ‘Robbery’

Toronto After Dark 2018: Our Review of ‘Robbery’

Corey Stanton’s Robbery screens with a short film, Francesco Gianini’s The Fool. It’s about jester-like puppets creepily trying to amuse a girl while her parents are fighting outside of her bedroom door. We’ve all been there.

Robbery is also about parental issues but has a more realistic take on the theme. Here, a man, Richie (Jeremy Ferdman) is also an old soul recovering from a gambling addiction. He uses theft to support his father, Frank (Art Hindle). Frank has his thieving days stopped because of his dementia. There’s a sensitivity in telling the story of these characters that makes me forgive its flaws. Like how rough some scenes look and how some lines sound. And that sensitive quality helps audiences takes Richie’s colorful look seriously.

Anyway, Richie is so old school he doesn’t have a phone. That’s a fact that surprises a woman in his addiction meetings, Winona (Sera-Lys McArthur). She’s a welcome inclusion in the film, showing us a different side of the woeful ‘First Nations addict’ stereotype. She’s actually a casino bartender, and she’s aware that her presence can make some people in the meetings worry. Calling someone an addict is nebulous here since she’s never played the slots but the temptation is there. She just needs to talk.

Or so it seems, there’s a twist involving both Richie and Winona that might be a twist too many. And yes, I’m aware that crime films are replete with those. Nonetheless, the little character details exist here for reasons beyond causation. At one point, the addictions counselor tells someone else in the meeting that they’re not alone. That fact is obvious enough to some, but it’s one that some need to hear more than once. And this crime drama is, in essence, about character’s connections with each other.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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