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Movie Review: The Thief Lord
By Aaron Broder

The cover of the book The Thief Lord
(Photo: Scholastic Inc.)

In the canals of Venice, Italy, a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord" steals valuable items from the rich and gives them to his gang of orphan friends to sell. He takes under his wing Prosper and Boniface, Bo for short, who have run away from their cruel aunt. So begins the movie Thief Lord, based on Corneila Funke's book of the same name.

The Thief Lord wastes no time and goes straight to the meat of the story. It starts with Prosper escaping the orphanage, with Bo's voice in his head saying, "You can't leave me, Prosper". Prosper goes to his aunt's house to get Bo and then they're off to Venice, which, according to their late mother, is a place of magic.

And to Bo, it seems to be. Throughout the movie, he sees statues of mythical creatures come to life right before his eyes, but when he tries to show everyone else, all they see is stone.

When they meet the Thief Lord, they are taken to the Stella, a dilapidated movie theater. There they meet the Thief Lord's gang of orphans: Hornet, a bookish girl, Mosca, an African-American who claims his father isn't dead, and Ricco, a pickpocket with bad teeth and a bad temper.

Together they have many adventures that involve mystery, suspense, and the uncovering of the secret of Scipio, the Thief Lord.

All of the child actors in this movie are marvelous. They play their parts extremely well. I particularly enjoyed Jasper Harris, who played Bo. He had an amazing reaction whenever encountering the mythical creatures.

While this movie stays true to the book, there are a few variations. Most of these are minute and add to the experience. If you enjoyed the book, or even if you haven't read it, you will love The Thief Lord. Keep an eye out for the DVD on March 14.