I was interested in this pandemic picture, available on HBO Max, because it was promoted as a heist flick with Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor that took unique advantage of the real-life lockdown to film in a deserted Harrod’s.
The plot is that the two are an estranged couple who are splitting up but are trapped together in the same house in London. They hatch a plan to take advantage of the circumstances to steal luxury goods from Harrod’s when the legendary store moves out its merchandise.
I was hoping for a fun heist movie with some unique visuals. What I got was a lot of self-indulgent whiny monologuing and juvenile anti-corporate justification. The heist is not clever, doesn’t take up much time, comes much too late in the film, and concludes in an unbelievable fashion that just drops the plot threads on the floor. It’s really more of a relationship movie, but I never believed the two belonged together in the first place. (He’s a truck driver, she’s CEO of the UK branch of a multi-national corporation.)
Also, there was not nearly enough in the department store. I understand that the same conditions that made the film a possibility also meant that they were filming scenes with as few people as they could in isolated locations, but the result is visually disappointing. That the script writing was rushed likely also contributed to the feel of a home movie, one you’re watching to be polite with people you don’t know very well.
Overall, very disappointing, not worth watching. I shared a viewing with friends online, and we got so bored with the lead couple that we started making up backstories for some of the supporting characters. I liked spending time with those actors — who include Dulé Hill, Ben Stiller, Claes Bang, and Mark Gatiss — much more than the leads. Although each only get a couple of scenes, filmed over videocamera.