Lying and Stealing (2019) – Review

Ivan (Theo James) is employed by a Greek criminal to steal art from the rich – he’s extremely talented at what he does and has great knowledge of the art he is tasked to steal, but ultimately, he wants out of the job. While trying to claw his way out of the situation he finds himself in, he meets and begins to work with an aspiring actress, Elyse (Emily Ratajkowski). As far as low budget time filling movies go, this probably isn’t the worst out there, despite the harsh critics given by some.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Director: Matt Aselton
Writers: Matt Aselton, Adam Nagata
Starring: Theo James, Emily Ratajkowski, Fred Melamed

On reflection, Lying and Stealing is one of those relatively promising movies that could have been much better than what eventually transpired. Some of the film-making for example was excellent, particularly visually. It was really easy and satisfying to watch but the film was let down with the poor script and (at times) wild plot holes along with scenes that didn’t really add much at all on more than one occasion.

During the flick, the very few suspenseful moments that had you on the edge of your seat seemed a little rushed in parts, especially when Ivan found himself taking up his craft and stealing the valuable art from the rich. These were intense and exciting moments that I felt could have been fleshed out and made a little longer or could have been included more regularly. Instead, the filmmakers decided to only include one or two of these scenes.

In regard to the relationship between the two main characters, it did seem a little forced at times, especially when it came to the dialogue handed to them. While their chemistry grew as the film went on, you found it hard to believe that their relationship was as convincing as the filmmakers intended. Both however, did a really good job from an acting point of view, considering the script given to them.

Theo James starred as Ivan and as mentioned, did a pretty good job in the lead role. He looked the part and did a solid job of carrying many of the scenes on his own. The same could be said for Emily Ratajkowski who starred as Elyse. She had a good amount of screen time and pair were extremely easy to watch in their adopted roles. With that being said, some experience was needed from an acting point of view and Fred Melamed was tasked with that job. Fred Melamed starred as Dimitri, the Greek criminal that Ivan was working for and ultimately put in a stellar performance. His character was unlikable from the off and you found yourself rooting for his demise throughout – a really good casting choice.

All in all, if you base this movie on its merits and don’t compare it with a typical Hollywood blockbuster then this was a half decent watch. For sure, it’s probably not something I’d recommend to somebody but at the same time I wouldn’t go out of my way to discourage anyone if they were planning to sit down and give it a shot.

“The options are die or not die…”

Ivan – Lying and Stealing

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