Confession of Pain- -
A detective helps a friend investigate the mysterious death of his father. The writing and directing team behind the hugely successful Infernal Affairs trilogy revisit high-budget thriller territory in Confession Of Pain, one of Hong Kong cinema's slickest productions of 2006.
The writing and directing team behind the hugely successful Infernal Affairs trilogy revisit high-budget thriller territory in Confession Of Pain, one of Hong Kong cinema’s slickest productions of 2006.
Directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, along with co-writer Felix Chong, aren’t interested in sticking to any common formula on this outing, however, instead taking bold steps to move their latest crime drama away from conventional whodunnit suspense.
The story begins as the home life of cop Hei (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and his girlfriend Susan (Xu Jinglei) is upended when the woman’s father is murdered. Hei jumps onto the case but leads just aren’t coming in. Soon Susan steps in behind the scenes, bringing Hei’s troubled ex-colleague Bong (Takeshi Kaneshiro) out of several-year drunken stupor to help in hopes that the two men can make headway on the case.
The set-up holds prime material for sleuthing – something delivered in flashback for another case in the film’s gripping opening minutes – but the screenplay forgoes the norm once the stakes go up. In a move that risks alienating some viewers, the murderer behind the crime is revealed early in the piece, limiting any tension a typical onscreen investigation could provide. Perfunctory private-eye scenes soon unfold to reveal not who did the crime but why it happened, and the movie takes the much less travelled plot line of unravelling what could have been a perfect crime. As grisly details are unveiled step by step, the pain of the title comes in the strain that revelations and hidden identities have placed on close friends, relatives and partners.
Unfolding in Hong Kong and Macau, Confession Of Pain is complemented with a dark, overcast appearance, and directors Lau and Mak pump up the drama with some of last year’s most polished production values. The impeccably dressed stars add to the sheen, with one of the year’s strongest line-ups heading the cast. Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Takeshi Kaneshiro play off each other in the talk-heavy script, their pairing a treat for fans who’ve not seen them together in a movie since 1994’s Chungking Express. Top-notch mainland Chinese writer-director Xu Jinglei is a pleasure in her second Hong Kong film after 2003’s Heroic Duo, acquitting herself well and scoring the film’s strongest moment with merely a stare. Actors including a deadpan Chapman To, playing a cop, and Shu Qi complete the main cast, along with Shaw Brothers veteran Yueh Hua continuing his welcome return to the silver screen.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival