A bankrupt Taiwanese man loses everything incl. girlfriend. He still has a key to his luxury condo, where he grows and smokes marijuana. He spends time with a woman on suicide hotline and a lingerie clad woman selling cigarettes etc.
While never-ending rain and a strange disease spread by cockroaches ravage Taiwan, a plumber makes a hole between two apartments and the inhabitants of each form a unique connection, enacted in musical numbers.
A bold debut from one who has learned from the best.
It's hard to watch 'The Missing' without thinking about Tsai Ming Liang, particularly as it is directed by the actor that Tsai "fetishises" in his films, Lee Kang Sheng. On the face of it, Lee's film is similar to many of Tsai's films - long, slow shots, a somewhat alienated camera aspect, and some familiar faces (for example Tien Miao, who plays the father figure in Tsai's films).
But 'The Missing' deals with the emotional predicaments of the characters in a very different way to say 'Bu San' (released at the same time). Here, the unrelenting long takes give the character's emotions a rawness, yet we are left with a feeling of loneliness, rather than intimacy. Lee also opts for a more conventional, even "Western", story pattern.
While it lacks the cinematic genius of Tsai Ming Liang's work, it is a fine debut, emotive and sensitively explored, and Lee's experience as an actor has well equipped him to produce some excellent performances from his cast, particularly from his lead actress.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this