A wonderful example of the humanism at the core of docurealist filmmaking. Yes, the script is a bit lazy at times. The ending should feel like a total cop out, but because the directors have paid such kind attention to the everday nuances of these people's lives, and because the star gives a naturally sympathetic performance, this movie is incredibly affecting.
this movie was like "The Stunt Man" - the relatively banal forward momentum of the main character with his relatively unknown past make it way more tense than a so-called thriller. I REALLY liked watching the craft (WORK) of the food preparation and the expressive mumbling faces of those who dont matter - far more enticing & beautiful than gritty-grit poverty lust imagery or nice clean polarized lens minimalism
As a no budget film maker I am extremely excited to see an artist craft so much out of so very little. The story is pretty straight forward but there's a lot more to get out of this film other than story alone. The most you can ask of any good movie is to take you to a world outside of your own - and this film definitely delivers (stupid pun intended) on that.
The biggest achievement of this indie gem are its sights and sounds; it forces you to breathe in Manhattan, exhale the stale city air, be blinded by the shimmering lights and feel the crunch of bicycle tires and sloshing puddles on slippery streets. An undercurrent of sadness and struggle pervades this story of class struggle, with no happy ending. A visceral film experience shot with handheld camera.
The idea of showing the hardship of migrants labor is necessary in our times, but the movie turns into an overly dramatic and repetitive action. The end is, as expected, the worst scenario for the protagonist and brings no option than feel sorry or guilty about living in a capitalist society. The limits between fiction and non-fiction strategies keeps an ambivalent feeling of despair.
"Most filmmakers working w/ digital video try to achieve a 'cinematic' look, but [here] the video looks like video. The camera records the squalor and the splendor of its [NYC] setting sharply and clearly.... Tsou & Baker smartly use that clarity to smudge the line between documentary and fiction. [This] is the kind of small-scale, precisely realized drama that values the little moments." - Noel Murray, AV Club 3.5
The kinetic camera style and slash editing clash nicely with Charles Jang's (mostly) lethargic "Sad Sack" performance. One would not think that a film about a take out delivery guy racing against time to deliver enough orders and make enough tips to help pay off his loan shark debt could be so engrossing...but it is.
Contemporary cinema verite and very well done...what is a simple narrative opens up into a moving story of the struggles of an immigrant in the 'promised land' of the USA and particularly NYC. As viewers we get an illuminating look at the dull but difficult life of a delivery guy trying to earn a living in a country that promises much with the false allure of making it financially separates him from home and family
Alternating between shots of food being prepared and Ming Ding making deliveries, Baker and Tsou create a rhythm that should be boring but which instead creates a fascinating picture of urbanity. A touching story with all the gritty charm a hole in the wall restaurant in Chinatown should have.
This movie has grown on me the more I think about it. The simple storyline about a down-on-his-luck Chinese takeout delivery guy doing runs on a rainy day ends up providing opportunities for reflection along the way. It's easy to empathize with his struggle. Great camera work too. Can't wait to see what Sean Baker does next!
4 stars for Sean Baker's style, not the story, which is mundane and predictable-A day/night in the life of a guy who delivers Chinese take out in NYC. But after Baker's brilliant TANGERINES, I wanted to see this and am pleased that MUBi presented it. In TAKE OUT, we see the development of Sean Baker's "street-style verite", and when his next film comes out, I will be first in line to see it.
Simple film, I enjoy cinema that reminds me of how hard it could be. The message is a reminder of complicated struggles. The entire film you're waiting for something bad to happen to the delivery man. Along the way you see the desperate Hustle of a man trying to get ahead.