M.r Pickpocket (2017) – By Philip Smolen


Eight year old Jack Hershman (Lucien D’Stair), and his younger brother Bob (Sebastian D’Stair) love comic books and have come up with a brilliant idea. They’re going to invent a brand new awarding winning superhero comic called “M. r Pickpocket” and it will be about their father’s alter ego (a pickpocket). The two brothers launch enthusiastically into the project, but start arguing about the content, graphic style and lettering of their creation almost immediately. The entire creative process causes them no end of problems, but they know that this is all part of making great art and that the final product will be worth all of their blood, sweat and tears.

“M.r Pickpocket” is a one-hour experimental film from writer/director Pablo D’Stair and it’s quite a bizarre experience. D’Stair’s screenplay is written from the perspective of two adults who are trying to create a new comic book superhero. However, he wants to satirize the absurdity of the creative process by having this adult dialogue (including much profanity) spoken by two children who can’t possible understand the things they are arguing about.

Unfortunately, much of the satire is lost because the two main actors are not very good. Both Lucien and Sebastian D’Stair deliver their line in drab, mumbly staccato fashion (without any emotion) which is very difficult to sit through. Since the boys can’t deliver their lines with any subtlety or nuance, the potential satire evaporates as soon as they speak their lines (often, they can be seen reading their lines). Both boys just come off as annoying.

Another issue is that the photography doesn’t draw the viewer into the boy’s intimate world. For almost the entire film, the camera’s POV changes each time one of the characters speaks; from Jack to Bob, back to Jack and so on. This technique is disconcerting and doesn’t allow the audience to enter the universe the boys are intent on creating.

This is an experimental film written and directed by an experimental filmmaker. I can’t see this movie appealing to general audiences, since it has very little entertainment value, but film lovers who appreciate the bizarre and weird may find some value here and should look for it at some upcoming festivals. However, “M.r Pickpocket” remains a difficult film to sit through and a thoroughly head-scratching experience.

For more information on “M.r Pickpocket”, please visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6737956
To watch the trailer for “M.r Pickpocket”, please go to: https://vimeo.com/210419186