For my next guest post for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Crime, I present you with a review by Kim of Tranquil Dreams of Infernal Affairs (2002). Her site is filled with movie reviews, photo challenges, travel posts, and of course very interesting recipes. If you don’t already follow her site, I urge you to do so.
If there are any of you out there who still want to submit a post for this months genre – I am willing to give you a two day extension (until 27th May) to send me your review (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are planning on it (ERIC!!) :), please shoot me an email to let me know to look out for it.
Just a quick reminder that next month’s Genre, which was chosen by Zoe is Superhero/Comic book movies, so feel free to start sending those in too (email@example.com)
Now on to Kim’s excellent review……..
Director: Andrew Lau & Alan Mak
Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Chapman To
Everyone has heard of the obvious rivalry between the police and the triad society. At a young age, the police superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong) planted a fresh young trainee, Yan (Tony Chiu Wai Leung) to start as an undercover in the triad society in hopes of one day gaining the trust of the big boss, Sam (Eric Tsang). While on the other side, Sam has also initiated a group of young men to join the police force and be his mole so that he can undergo his illegal transactions safe and sound. One of these men is Ming (Andy Lau) who soon became one of the fastest rising police inspectors on the force. Its about 10 years since the triad mole and undercover cops have been planted and Sam deals with the Thais for drugs, the Superintendent Wong is hot on the trail. During a mission, they both realize that each has planted the mole and now the question is a game of who can catch the mole/undercover first before its game over.
As most of you know, Infernal Affairs is the original of the very famous The Departed. I have never actually gotten through watching The Departed without falling asleep so lets just say, one day, I’ll brew up some green tea and sit down to watch it while eating lots of food. But, point is, I love Infernal Affairs. Its a brilliant crime thriller packed with the best of the best in the entire Hong Kong industry. Lead by four Hong Kong equivalent of Oscars award for best leading actors, Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang, these guys all get to choose their movies with their rep, experience and seniority in the industry and they all wanted to do this one.
The script is as impressive as it gets. Movies on triad societies are not rare in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong movie industry is renowned for their action flicks but its been recent years that the focus is pulled back to doing thrillers that are not as much action but more cerebral. This one really gets you thinking and at the same time, its not only about good and bad but rather the Chinese title is actually called in literal translation the ‘Continuous Hell’. I’m not exactly sure which religion it is but this relates to believing that there are 18 levels of hell and the worst is Continuous Hell is where it never ends and thats what being someone you’re not is, just like when you are being a mole. So its actually hits a somewhat philosophical level as well.
Many of us have seen that even award-winning actors can still fall short in their roles sometimes but in this one, the chemistry between everyone is very awesome. The scenes between Yan and Superintendent Wong (Tony Leung and Anthony Wong) carry some sarcastic humor, while the chemistry between Inspector Lau and Sam (Andy Lau and Eric Tsang) are a more serious relationship. When we go on the opposite spectrum, the unknowns are when Lau and Yan have their few scenes together and that sparks some pretty mellow to intense scenes while one of the most favorite scenes in the movie is the one up there when Sam and his triad society are in contact with Superintendent Wong and his group and they both lay down the cards of what they just found out. The tension and the turning point in the movie is right there and as the audience, I felt every bit of it. Thats what I call quality acting.
Infernal Affairs is one of those movies that carry the best cast, excellent script and manage to keep the audience engaged wondering who will win in this game of cat and mouse. The loser will lose their lives so there’s a whole lot at stake and that keeps the tension built high. With human nature in play, it also keeps the audience wondering how each of the characters will react to what they are in. Everyone has their own show, it just depends how long you can hold onto what your doing and remember who you really are. Its just an amazing movie and I highly recommend it!
Thanks again to Kim for this excellent review for a movie, I definitely gotta see soon!