Take Out

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"One Illegal Immigrant, One Smuggling Debt, One Day to Pay Up."
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.0  (1,039)

Take Out is a gritty, independent film released in 2004. The film follows the daily struggles of Ming Ding, an illegal Chinese immigrant who works in a small Chinese takeout restaurant in New York City. Throughout the course of the film, we see Ming struggle to make enough money to repay a loan shark who has been threatening his family back in China.

The film starts with Ming being woken up by his alarm clock early in the morning. He quickly gets dressed and heads to work, where he spends the entire day preparing food, taking orders, and making deliveries. As the day wears on, we see Ming become increasingly exhausted and frustrated as he struggles to make enough money to pay off his debt.

Despite his efforts, Ming's situation only seems to get worse as the day goes on. He is constantly harassed by the loan shark, who calls him repeatedly throughout the day demanding his money. Ming's boss, a gruff and unfeeling man, berates him for any mistake he makes and even takes a portion of his tips.

The film shows the harsh realities of the immigrant experience in America, as Ming faces discrimination, exploitation, and a constant struggle to survive. Ming speaks little English, and is often misunderstood or dismissed by the people he encounters throughout the day. Despite his hard work and dedication, his lowly position in society and lack of legal status make it nearly impossible for him to get ahead.

As the day wears on, Ming becomes increasingly desperate. He resorts to stealing food from the restaurant to feed himself, and even attempts to steal money from the cash register. However, his attempts to escape his dire situation only seem to make things worse.

The film is shot in a raw, documentary-like style that adds to its gritty realism. The camera follows Ming closely throughout the day, showing the mundane details of his work and the harsh realities of his life. The film is unflinching in its portrayal of the immigrant experience, and does not shy away from showing the difficulties and hardships that many immigrants face when trying to build a new life in a foreign country.

One of the film's strengths is its nuanced portrayal of the characters. While Ming is the protagonist of the film, the other characters are not simply stock villains or heroes. Ming's boss, for example, is harsh and unforgiving, but it is clear that he is also struggling to make ends meet in a highly competitive business. The loan shark, while menacing and threatening, is also shown to have his own struggles and vulnerabilities.

Ultimately, the film is a powerful examination of the immigrant experience and the struggles that many people face when trying to build a new life in a foreign country. Ming's story is a microcosm of the larger issues facing immigrants in America, such as exploitation, poverty, and a lack of legal status. Despite its bleak subject matter, the film is ultimately a deeply human and empathetic portrayal of one man's struggle to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Overall, Take Out is a powerful and thought-provoking film that offers a nuanced and realistic portrayal of the immigrant experience in America. Its unflinching examination of the harsh realities of life for many immigrants makes it a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the challenges facing this often marginalized and exploited community.

Take Out
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (1,039)