Ben is a perfectionist and overachiever whose tunnel vision leads to nothing less than graduating at the top of his class. As he struggles to achieve social success, he discovers his darker side. He and his friends: Virgil, Daric and Han lead a double life of mischief and petty crimes to alleviate the pressures of perfection. As their adopted identity grows, the gang tumbles into a downward spiral of excitement, excess and fun. Written by
Being Asian and a film study graduate doesn't validate what I"m gonna say, but I thought it would get somebody's attention.
What I did like about this film is that it reminded me a lot of what I did in Highschool, minus killing people and playing with guns. I got really good grades in school, and after a while me and my friends would goof around and cause a lot of trouble. Add in all the alcohol, parties, and drugs, you have an interesting side story for bored students. Most people wouldn't agree with what I said, but hey its my review.
Two, being Asian American and growing up in a middle class-uppermiddle class area, it was strange being one of the few asian americans around. people might look down on this film as "gimicky" because it gained attention because it was an all asian american cast. well here's something peole who are not asian american maybe should consider: when you're asian american, and you live in an area heavily populated by caucasions and feel like an obvious minority, you'll naturally start a clique of your own, that, low and behold, has other asian americans primarily in it. the group of friends in this film are asian american not just to start some gimmicky marketing scheme. this is what often happens in real life. certain subtleties like this can't be overtly explained, but will be appreciated by its asian american audience because it hits pretty solid. this is very much an asian american film, even though people don't like all the violence and blah blah blah.
now from a film perspective, i like the stylistic techniques lin used. he changes film speed a lot, which is a lost art in film. this film reminded me alot of Scorsese's "Mean Streets," plus with the obvious "Good Fellas" homage in the film w/ the continuous shot where the group walks into the party where the fight breaks out. i like how this film worked hard to challenge general film conventions. this film breaks down into five acts (not the standard hollywood three), has asian americans playing roles that are reserved not for them, and has a post modern ending. american audiences are used to having everything resolved at the end, with clearly defined moral positioning. i don't think people knew how to respond to the ending, and felt kind of empty. well guess what, osama bin laden was never caught, and some 30% of murders are never solved or have their killers brought to justice. i felt that the ending was appropriate
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