Saturday, June 30, 2007

Following Infernal Affairs & PTU

This has to be the best movie I have seen since the two cited in the headline. The movie is called Eye In The Sky, a magnificent film by any standard. It stars Tony Leung Ka Fai as the very smart and careful boss of a gang of robbers, but the role is a bit one-dimensional. Maggie Siu as the foul mouthed senior lady cop. The gangly and lumbering but extremely watchable Lam Suet as the always hungry robber point man even though he has less than ten lines of dialogue. Kate Tsui Chi San, the ex Miss HK, who actually shone in her role as Simon Yam's protege: pleasant surprise, she was able to infuse the eagerness / innocence of a freshie and had to decide between the "greater good" in priorities, quite good really, surpasses her one dimensional roles on TVB series. Top billing goes to Simon Yam as a dedicated, slightly jaded but unassuming group leader of a team of plainclothes cops.

This has to be the best acting for the entire ensemble cast.
The story line grips you from the start, and the camera work was excellent as well as it was unobtrusive and pans around like a reality show. Kudos to the scriptwriter, producer and director, who else but the unmistakable Johnnie To Kei Fung, Au Kin Yee and Yau Nai Hoi. Following the violent Election series and the B-grade Running On Karma, The Mission... Johnnie To has returned to what he does best. This is Yau Nai Hoi's centerpiece actually as he co-wrote and directed the movie.

The brilliance in movies such as PTU and Infernal Affairs is getting the audience to identify and root for the characters. That's an art which lifts an average film-maker to creative genius. The characters were fleshed out brilliantly. In just an hour you seem to know the background and motivations of each of the main players. To me, Eye In The Sky is slightly better than Infernal Affairs and on par with the equally brilliant PTU. Touching, gripping, you don't know what will be unfolding in the next scene-kind of movie. The pacing and mood of the movie were well controlled. Must watch.

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