IMDb > Life Without Principle (2011)
Dyut meng gam
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Life Without Principle (2011) More at IMDbPro »Dyut meng gam (original title)

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Life Without Principle -- Life Without Principle: Three ordinary people - a banker, a broker and a police inspector - find their destinies inextricably intertwined as lies, deceit and greed take them on a violent, wild heist.
Life Without Principle -- Trailer for Life Without Principle

Overview

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6.9/10   1,452 votes »
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Release Date:
20 October 2011 (Hong Kong) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Three people - a criminal, a bank officer and a cop - end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
15 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Venturing away from his usual gangland milieu, Johnnie To's latest is a riveting examination of modern-day greed that is immensely captivating and thought-provoking See more (9 total) »

Cast

 

Ching Wan Lau ... Panther

Terence Yin ... Mr. Sung
Richie Jen ... Inspector Cheung (as Richie Ren)
Siu-Fai Cheung ... Wah
Cake Wong ... Helen
Vincent Sze
Felix Wong ... Sum

Courtney Wu ... Car park security guard
Wing-cheong Law ... Wing
Siu-Kei Lee ... Brother Four
Yoyo Chen ... T.T. Chau
Philip Keung ... Lung
J.J. Jia ... Ms Ho
Hoi-Pang Lo ... Yuen
Stephanie Che ... Jackie
Chi Hung Ng ... Brother B
Singh Hartihan Bitto ... Bank security guard
Alan Chung San Chui ... Mr. Sung's bodyguard
Myolie Wu ... Connie
Bing-Man Tam ... Kwun
Hoi-Yiu Wong ... Dinner guest
Denise Ho ... Teresa
Fun Lo ... Landlady
Anson Leung
Stephen Au ... Inspector Cheung (voice)
Candy Chiu
Chin Yiu Wing
Wing-Cheung Cheung (as Chang Yung Cheung)
Chi-yin Wong ... Officier Lee
Eric Huen
Kitterick Yiu
Yuen Yue Man
Hei-Loi Lo ... Kwun's wife
Kwok-Wah Wong
Min-Leung Chan ... Tenant
Chi-Shing Chiu ... Ponytail
Wai Leung Hung ... Waiter
Kwan Wing Tung
Sze Kwan Ho
Patricia Tang ... Receptionist
Oi Ying Lam
Ng Man Kai
Ronald Yan ... Ho Sze-tung
Yuk Ping Wu
Choi Tsz Kin
Lau Wai Yan
Kin Kwok Wong
Lora Lu
Lo Keung
Gallan So
Wai-Kin Chan
Hang Shuen So ... Ms Cheng
Hing Fai Ho
Hedy Chang
Kenneth Cheung
Wah-Shan Ng ... Restaurant manager
Chong Man Hong
Yiu Tong Lee
Chindy Lau ... Debbie

Directed by
Johnnie To 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kin-Yee Au 
Ka-kit Cheung 
Ben Wong 
Nai-Hoi Yau 
Tin-Shing Yip 

Produced by
John Chong .... executive producer
Elaine Chu .... line producer
Shirley Lau .... administrative producer
Johnnie To .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Siu-Keung Cheng (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
David M. Richardson 
 
Production Design by
Sukie Yip 
 
Art Direction by
Sukie Yip 
 
Costume Design by
Sukie Yip 
 
Makeup Department
Kelly Chiu .... makeup artist
Jeff Li .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Chi-Shing Chiu .... unit manager
Elaine Chu .... project manager
Wan-San Ding .... production supervisor (as Yuin Shan Ding)
Jackson Ha .... production manager
Eric Huen .... second unit produccion manager
Angel Tang .... assistant production manager
Chi Wai Yan .... second unit produccion manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joe Chan .... second assistant director
Jeff Cheung .... first assistant director
Cox Chong .... second assistant director
Chan Siu Hei .... second assistant director
Jack Lai .... second assistant director
Albert Kai-kwong Mak .... associate director (as Kai Kwong Mak)
 
Art Department
Ho-Kwan Au .... property master
Wai Chuen Cheung .... property master
 
Sound Department
Brian Campbell .... dialogue editor
Sai-Tak Cheung .... boom operator
Benny Chu .... sound designer
Dario DiSanto .... foley editor
Mango Mok .... adr recordist
Kin-Fai Ng .... boom operator
Iain Pattison .... sound re-recording mixer
David M. Richardson .... sound supervisor
James Wallace .... sound designer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Wing-Lok Ho .... key grip
Wai Leung Hung .... electrician
Kwok Kin Ip .... electrician
Ting Fung Kwong .... gaffer
Wai-Kwan Lau .... focus puller
Allen Leung .... still photographer
Wai Ming Leung .... electrician
Chan Ka Ling .... key grip
Cheng Kai Ming .... still photographer
Wai Kit Pang .... still photographer
Hung Mo To .... cinematographer
Egg Wong .... key grip
Shing Chung Wong .... focus puller
Kwok Chiu Wu .... gaffer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kit Ling Chan .... dresser
Mei Shing Wong .... dresser
Lai Chin Yu .... dresser
 
Music Department
Xi Lin .... lyricist: theme song
Wei Yue .... composer: theme song
 
Other crew
John Chong .... presenter
Hak Lam .... set runner
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dyut meng gam" - Hong Kong (original title)
"Lethal Gold" - Hong Kong (English title) (literal title)
See more »
Runtime:
107 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Hong Kong's submission to the 85th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Boundless (2013)See more »

FAQ

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Venturing away from his usual gangland milieu, Johnnie To's latest is a riveting examination of modern-day greed that is immensely captivating and thought-provoking, 13 October 2011
Author: moviexclusive from Singapore

The long-gestating Johnnie To movie 'Life Without Principle' chooses as its theme the interminable greed of mankind, set against the backdrop of the current financial crisis. Taking almost three years for the auteur to get it off the page onto the screen, it is also his most narratively complex film since 'Election', intertwining the stories of a bank employee, a cop and two triad gangsters over the course of one fateful day when the Greek economy essentially goes 'kaput'.

Unfolding quite independently of each other at first, To requests the patience of his audience as he slowly builds up each narrative thread to flesh out the key characters. First in line is bank employee Teresa (Denise Ho), who is under pressure from the team manager to meet her sales targets for a new complex financial product before the New Year. She makes cold calls from a list of bank customers, the derision she faces enough to make one think twice about being mean to the person on the other end of the line in similar real-life situations.

The focus of this segment is Teresa's persuasion of an elderly woman (So Hang-Shuen) to invest her life savings into a high-risk fund, despite the mismatch between the investment product and the client's risk appetite. The client laments about the bank's low interest rates on deposits, and Teresa sees an opportunity to be less than scrupulous- despite her nagging conscience. This is certainly a parallel between this and our very own DBS 'High Notes 5' saga not too long ago- and To mines the realities of this sequence to highlight the pitfalls many ordinary citizens often fall into when making poorly informed investment decisions.

To also uses this segment to introduce two supporting characters- the balding loan shark Yuen (Lo Hoi-Pang) who gets robbed immediately after withdrawing five million from the bank; and the soon-to-be-married Connie (Myolie Wu) frustrated at her fiancée's reluctance at buying an apartment for investment. Yuen will figure later in the second story thread led by triad runner Panther (Lau Ching Wan) and his buddy Lung (Philip Keung), who runs an illegal business operation dabbling in Internet stock trading.

Thanks to Lau's fine turn playing the exceedingly righteous Panther with just the right balance of levity and gravity, this is easily the most colourfully entertaining segment- and because of the gangster milieu also the one which To's fans will find most familiar. Using the first half to emphasise Panther's servility as he tries to post bail for a fellow triad honcho (Eddie Cheung), To's investment in character development pays off in understanding Panther's loyalty to Lung and the extent he is willing to go to help Lung out of his financial doldrums.

The third, and perhaps least developed, story concerns Inspector Cheung (Ritchie Jen), whose dedication to his work is another reason for his fiancé Connie's frustration. Though Cheung is seen earlier crossing paths with Panther, it is Cheung's heroism saving another elderly man from committing suicide and his subsequent change in perspective that this segment is concerned with- though there Is a severely undercooked subplot involving Cheung's father's death from cancer and the fate of his young half-sister. This and the other two seemingly disparate plot threads only coalesce towards the last half hour of the film- but rest assured that To rewards your patience with a riveting conclusion that connects the various characters brilliantly, albeit with some degree of deus ex machina especially towards the end.

But beyond the plotting, To's film is also extremely meaningful as a reflection of the interconnectedness of our livelihoods with the ups and downs of the world economy. Bearing great thematic relevance and prescience, the movie paints a stark picture of how the very wellbeing of ordinary and disparate folk can be affected so drastically by something happening on a different continent. It is also not afraid to expose the flaws within the growing complexities of our financial industries, which entraps the sweat-soaked dollars and cents of good hardworking people.

If the above discourse on the film's themes isn't yet clear enough, then let us also state categorically that those looking for To's trademark shoot-em-up actioners will likely be disappointed. There is nary a shootout in sight, nor a bullet fired for that matter, but To's gamble to attempt a multi-strand narrative built around pertinent social issues (think 'Traffic', 'Crash' or even this autumn's 'Contagion') pays off handsomely- thanks also to solid acting from To's usual band of regulars and some expert editing from David Richardson. As the fruit of To's labour for the past three years, it also reaffirms his position as one of the best, if not the best, directors in Hong Kong today.

- www.moviexclusive.com

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