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Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers

Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers

On DVD: 
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Running Time: 
89 minutes
Bonus Feature

Director Interview, Original CCTV Robbery Footage, Animation FX Featurette, Dubai Police Film, Animated Storyboards, and Exclusive Pink Panther Phone Call

How long do you think it would take to get 30 million dollars? For the gang known only as the Pink Panthers, it took them 3 minutes to steal 30 million dollars worth of diamonds. What they do for a living plays out like it was a movie that stars some of the most famous actors in the world. Though what they do has been shown as a glamorous life it's also one that is filled with death and destruction. See actual footage from surveillance footage showing the crime taking place as cars are drove through a mall and the thieves breaking into the jewelery stores as well as interviews from members of the Pink Panthers in this documentary, Smash & Grab.

This is a documentary that I found really interesting and though it has some problems it kept my attention during the whole hour and half. I've heard about the Pink Panthers before but never in much detail and it was usually because it was in some movie or show that had one of the actors or directors talking about them. However, Smash & Grab gets in depth about how the gang was formed, why it was, where and when it started, and so much more that it's hard not to be interested in watching this documentary. There's footage of some of the crimes caught from surveillance cameras as well as getting interviews from people in the gang itself.

There's a lot of information being given here, which is both good and bad for this documentary. It's good because there's never a lack of a topic being talked about or shown. It's almost a history lesson and a tourist ad for Yugoslavia as well as giving information about the wars that raged caused the criminals to flee to Europe. On the bad side though, with all this information director Havana Marking can't get into deep detail about the events and people being talked about. This documentary does have a lot of interviews given by cops, reporters, and gang members but for the most part it's the gang members that have the most interesting as they describe what it's like to be part of the gang, going on the heists, and how it takes a smart and dedicated person to do this kind of job. Some of the things I learned is that women have a huge role in the heists because it's them that go in first to get the lay of the shop. These women have to be smart, beautiful, dressed with some of the most expensive designer clothes, and have a confidence that makes people believe they are rich and there to buy something instead of being staking the place out for a robbery. I also learned that even though the lifestyle has a surface of glitter and fun it's core is death, destruction, and danger. No one knows who they are working for, they can get caught where they either go to prison or possibly killed, and even though they can make a lot of money doing what they do it's still a lot of work.

I did enjoy how the documentary was set up by using the animation to show the interviews with the gang members and some of the reenactments of the heists. At times it felt like it was being done more as a artistic style to make it look different and stand out instead of being a concealment for the gang members. It's edited well where it flows nicely and wasn't ever boring but there were a few problems with the finished work. The main problem being the audio levels and some of the sounds being used. Audio levels are way too low on this whole documentary that forced me to turn up my volume levels on my television to nearly 35 to just be able to hear what was being said. Also, at the start of the documentary there's no real sound being used for the first 2 minutes. There's some music playing but the levels are so low that it might as well not be there at all. In fact I thought there was no sound coming out for the first minute. Some of the interviews where hard to understand even though it's being said in English. I would have liked to had some subtitles with the interviews so that I could know what was being said. Though, as a whole this documentary was really good and I liked how it included real footage, reenactments, and the animation used as well as having all the information being talked about. This documentary plays out more like cut scenes from video games or like a movie then about real life and that just made it even more interesting.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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