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In a murder case, where a young rich girl is accused of killing her father's girlfriend, erything seems clear since the beginning. The evidences against her are crushing. But nothing seems to be as it looks, and the plot is constantly overturning when new evidences, witnesses and small details are revealed.
What you see and what you get from a Chinese court
This is one of the few films that has kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Excellent plot and acting. Very smooth development and full of surprises. Superb story telling skills. One of the few talented scripts in modern Chinese cinema.
Without disclosing much of the plot, we can only say it is mainly a courtroom drama involving a widowed tycoon whose 19-year-old daughter is accused of murdering his bride-to-be, a beautiful artist who is found to be having an affair with another young man.
As the court proceeding evolved, we seem to discover more evidence and hence new relations among all the stakeholders, including the lawyers for both sides. A very good suspense story with strong focus.
The vast amount of internal struggles and complex yet repressed emotions are brilliantly delivered by the excellent cast. Sun Honglei (the tycoon Lin Tai), Aaron Kwok (the fierce prosecutor Tong Tao), Nan Yu (the defense lawyer Zhou Li who vows to save the seemingly innocent defendant) and Jiajia Deng (Lin Mengmeng the daughter) are all great in showing the wide range of sentiments: anger, doubt, resentment, arrogance, guilt, awareness etc as the drama unfolds.
The art direction is also great. Although it is a fictitious trial in a fictional Chinese city, we are led to believe that such modern city with skyscrapers, highways and colonial architecture really exists and information can flow freely in China.
Very tactfully, the film projects an ideal China while stating that things are often not what they seem to be, especially in this new world power. Because precisely in China, anything can happen.
One criticism I have is that the first few scenes in the media control room to introduce the main characters are sort of superfluous and can be edited out to make the whole film classier. The presence of cameras in the courtroom is also not necessary and, generally, not allowed.
All in all, if you are into suspense, surprise, courtroom drama and modern China development, this is a must see. If you are interested in exploring the theme of justice, truth, loyalty, love, manipulation and the legal system, this is also quite worth watching. Highly recommended.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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