A heist story turns its audience into the accomplices of a crime. Other stories ask us to like or empathize with their characters. A heist story asks us to discard the ethics and morals we abide by in our daily lives. The main characters are criminals, stealing something that was never theirs to begin with. But because they’re our protagonists, we find ourselves rooting for them to pull off a crime. They’re charming, smart, skilled, professional. And because we’re rooting for them, we begin to feel like one of them. We see things the way they do.
I’ve always been a revisiter. Like many kids, I asked (or demanded) we reread the same books every night at bedtime. Family lore has it that, by the age of six, I had watched Beauty and the Beast so much I could recite its opening voiceover on demand, as though I were Laurence Olivier being called on to deliver a soliloquy from Hamlet.