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Police inspector and excellent hostage negotiator Ho Sheung-Sang finds himself in over his head when he is pulled into a 72 hour game by a cancer suffering criminal out for vengeance on Hong Kong's organized crime Syndicates.
I've seen this movie at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal 2010, and boy did it caught me off guard. I'm usually a stoic person but this movie hit me in the bulls-eye of my emotions a few times, which is quite a feat in itself but more so while in a movie theater. The fact that, four years later, it sprung back to my mind, made me seek out a copy and then write a review should be a testament of it's potential for staying power.
I will keep this short since I may just repeat what HKNeo has written in his review. Also, I don't have an extensive knowledge of Honk Kong cinematography and thus cannot delve into talking about the people involved in making this movie and make comparisons to their other works.
The movie is pretty much about copping with losses.
A father, mother, daughter and son are involved in a car accident. The father dies and the daughter is blinded. Years later, the mother still being tormented and inconsolable over the tragedy, the daughter begins to write a novel to help her mother, foremost, as well as herself and her brother. In the novel, the tragedy is reversed: the father lives, but his blinded, while the rest of the family died. However, the father being inconsolable, himself begins to write a novel... As the movie progresses, lines are blurred between reality and the fiction of the daughter's novel.
Unless you're a completely jaded viewer with a brick-for-a-heart and eat puppies for lunch, this movie will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
I'm not sure why the ratings are rather poor (or lukewarm) -- perhaps certain viewers were expecting a pure fantasy movie with no emotional resonance (other than "wows" and laughs), similarly to how some expected the same from Pan's Labyrinth (though that movie got the ratings and exposure it deserved).
Just like a backpack trip, a particularly exotic meal, a daring complex musical composition, or an emotionally engaging video game (looking at you The Last of Us); this movie may not be for everyone, but it is certainly worth it if it means a chance to feel an engrossing meaningful experience that will stay with you.
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