After thirteen and half years in prison for kidnapping and murdering the boy Park Won-mo, Geum-ja Lee is released and tries to fix her life. She finds a job in a bakery; she orders the ... See full summary »
Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a ... See full summary »
A good crime drama well worth watching if only to set up the superb sequel
Despite a tight narrative, Johnnie To's Election feels at times like it was once a longer picture, with many characters and plot strands abandoned or ultimately unresolved. Some of these are dealt with in the truly excellent and far superior sequel, Election 2: Harmony is a Virtue, but it's still a dependably enthralling thriller about a contested Triad election that bypasses the usual shootouts and explosions (though not the violence) in favour of constantly shifting alliances that can turn in the time it takes to make a phone call. It's also a film where the most ruthless character isn't always the most threatening one, as the chilling ending makes only too clear: one can imagine a lifetime of psychological counselling being necessary for all the trauma that one inflicts on one unfortunate bystander.
Simon Yam, all too often a variable actor but always at his best under To's direction, has possibly never been better in the lead, not least because Tony Leung's much more extrovert performance makes his stillness more the powerful.
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