14 September 2007 | lupinyiu
Filmic Propertiies Better Than Content
At the denotative level, the film comes with an explicit theme of females' distrust on the other sex. At the connotative level, it is loaded with a wider exploration on the disequilibrium of the sexes. Set in a story line of suspected conspiracy of the feminine gender, it is a film noir with a mild degree of suspense and tension. Director Pang adopts a multiplicity of film language and cinematographic techniques alongside the restricted narrative. Pang deliberately leaves time for the audience to self-explicate the narrative and the leads' staging by use of, among others, freeze action, slow camera movement, slow cutting, lugubrious piano key strikes, subdued blue lighting and sound off, all in consonance with the tone of the story. The film is particularly slow-paced and consequently relatively hypnotic in the first half. The exposition on the lead's (Simon Yam) personality is unnecessarily long and the portray on his intrinsic psychology seems to be pointless, weak and, after all, in vanity. Pang also uses discontinuous and elliptical editing for narrative purposes. The former renders several scenes mildly undecipherable before the entire narrative is shown, although this is probably an ostentatious narrative device of Pang to intensify the audience's brain working process in a psychology loaded product. Creation of sparse mise-en-scenes together with the infrequency of dialogues further establishes a mood of alienation among characters in addition to the story's mystery mantle. If termed a comedy, the film is a noir comedy. Not surprisingly, it is not associated with logic, nor are the lines of thoughts behind the theme reasonably articulative as the screenplay is from Goo Bi GC. It is ontologically more an exquisite, eccentric and cult film aimed at a minority market.