Tuesday, 15 September 2009

TIFF REVIEWS: ACCIDENT & THE SEARCH

I have mixed feelings towards ACCIDENT. I enjoyed the concept of a group of criminals for hire, plotting and executing murders for pay that look like "accidents". The group, headed by The Brain (Louis Koo) don't care why the murders are contracted, they just care about being paid, and not leaving any evidence at the scene that can be traced back to them. This part of the film is fascinating to watch, but when The Brain becomes paranoid about occurrences that may or may not be "accidents" the film goes into psychological territory, and I'm not sure this is where I wanted to go with Louis Koo. Having seen Koo in Johnnie To's Election 1 and Election 2, and other members of the ACCIDENTS's cast in other of To's films, I had expectations of an action movie. This is not where director, Soi Cheang was headed, so I have only myself to blame for my expectations, and my personal disappointment.
 
The film ventures down the road of the classic Gene Hackman film, The Conversation. While I do not love this film as much as some, I do have a great deal of respect for the plot and Hackman's performance. If you haven't seen The Conversation, and you have no preconceived notions of where this film should be headed, then you might enjoy this film better than I did. It's not a bad film, it's just that my own personal disappointment lead to a feeling of "been there; done that" as the movie progressed. Fantastic performance by Louis Koo (he's also very hot), and the other actors, but this one is not on my hit list.


THE SEARCH I wasn't feelin' this one. Yes, I liked shots of Tibet (I always like shots of Tibet), and learning about Tibetan culture, but these two elements were not enough for me to love this film. What hooked me into staying at the press and industry screening is the fact that I couldn't make it to anything else in time, and I wanted to hear the conclusion of a story one of the characters "the businessman" was telling. This story is broken up by the film's main plot of searching for two actors to play traditional Tibetan character roles (Drime Kunden and Magde Zangmo) in a film. The search is actually quite boring, but I was so hooked on the love story that I was determined to hear its conclusion. A better film about a search is the documentary The Unmistaken Child. If you want landscape and a mystery, then see this film about the search for the child that is the reincarnation of Tibetan master, Lama Konchog. I saw this film at TIFF '08 and it left me reeling.  If you are still curious about THE SEARCH then wait for the DVD.

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