An over-budgeted "after school special" for adults
There are many films that deal with the sensitive subject matter of child abuse. They typically fall into two categories: those that attempt to treat the subject matter with complexity and seriousness, and those that exploit the subject matter to sensationalize and trivialize the issue. This film pretends to be the first but falls into the latter category.
Pinky Cheung plays a HK police inspector who recounts a particularly disturbing case she has been working on to friends and strangers at a Penthouse BBQ party. The case involves a young girl who died as a result of injuries suffered at her mother's hand, but was later revealed by the police autopsy to have endured repeated sexual assaults over a period of time. As the investigation unfolds, the mother's boyfriend is implicated as the culprit of the sexual abuse, as well as having made child pornography videos with the young girl. While the mother (played by Leila Tong) feigns ignorance, a police commissioner (played by Maggie Siu) who personally took charge of the case believes there are some unanswered questions and decides to torture the mother to induce answers.
This is where the film becomes "sexploitation", as we are treated to lengthy scenes where the mother is humiliated and assaulted by the police commissioner and her subordinates, who seem completely oblivious to their role in perpetuating the cycle of violence and abuse. Ironically, the cycle of abuse turns out to be the answer to the 'unanswered questions' that plagued the police commissioner (and in the process, we learn something about the motivations of the police commissioner which turns out to be stupidly simplistic).
Given that the acting here is also sub-par, there is really nothing else worth salvaging from this film. The combination of an elementary moral message and the film's category III rating makes this an "after school special" for adults.
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