My first Tsai Ming Liang film was his fifty minute odyssey of a monk moving very slowly through Journey To The West. I unexpectedly loved it, so I was ready for any challenges he had for me in his second film of the year Stray Dogs. Yes, it has an abundance of slowly paced and ethereal shots, but here he had a loose narrative. It's all about the anguish of living on the fringe and the film perfectly evokes that emotion as characters silently battle the elements. There's not a shot quite like the scene where its lead sings tearfully while holding up a sign. However, the film lacks an essential economy to make it worth all its 138 minutes, even if it is beautifully shot for the most part. It needed more time in the editing room, and more time in the writers room at that. There's not enough layers to the characters and story to make it completely satisfying, besides potential political meanings that flew over my head. Its best when its eliciting a devastating trapped sensation with an eternal cycle offering no escape.