Confession of Pain official site: http://www.confessionofpain.com/
From the director who brought you the highly acclaimed Infernal Affairs, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak is back. Oh yes… Infernal Affairs, a movie so great that it can be considered legendary movie. Being noted as one of the best movie ever produced in Hong Kong and many even agree without a doubt saying it probably is the one movie that saved the sagging Hong Kong movie industry. They have set the benchmark sky-high, so high that in comparison to Confession of Pain, it just shows that being better than one of the best is a hard thing to do.
Well, like what I said about Zhang Yimou… one can’t just ride on the success and think repeating it over and over again will make everything the best all the time. Fairly looking at the poster and trailer does entice enough people to go see it. In fact with the line ” from the director or Infernal Affairs” it will just get millions of people rushing to see it… now that includes me. I mean looking at the poster.. the pose… the colour scheme… to the dot, one can say it’s so Infernal Affairs like. And no kidding… I am expecting Infernal Affairs quality… in the sense of acting, soundtrack, cinematography and the best part… storyline. Noting everything down, Confession of Pain fails me terribly when compared to Infernal Affairs.
Yes, I saw a big surprising look at your face. Now… it’s not that bad if you just ignore the Infernal Affairs expectations. Okay… let’s start with the title,the chinese title for Confession of Pain is “Seung Sing” which translates as Wounded City. Now… relate the poster to the titles, it’s a movie that resolves around this two lead staying in the same city and both leading a painful life and of course looking at them facing each other back to back… one would already know their painful life is potray in a total opposite way.
The movie started of at this bar where Bong (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his other colleagues were out on a mission with their team leader Hei (Tony Leung). Their prime suspect, a crazy and psycho serial rapist. Bong went undercover pretending to be a paying customer at the bar who doesn’t drink. The funny part, he orders alcohol saying that it would be obvious to people since he has been there for days but only orders juices. Hei then walk up to him and chatted with Bong a little telling him it is even more obvious when you order something that you don’t drink.
As their target leaves the place, everyone follows the suspect and finally arrested him. It was a “NOT TO BE MISSED” scene. So yes, incase you want to go to the toilet, no this is not the right time. Yes, this is one of the juiciest part of the movie as it disclose many dark side. One can feel the pain where Hei whack the rapist right before his entire police team. AMAZING! Yes, justice… legal rights… what are these behind closed doors when judgements are often clouded by experience, emotions and perceptions.
That very same night, Bong reach home only to find that his girlfriend, Rachel (Emme Wong) commited suicide. Bong partially blames himself for what has happened. Yes, the death of his girlfriend has inflicted a great deal of pain to him and getting drunk is the only way out for him. Not long after the incident, he resigned as he will never rest until he finds out why his girlfriend commited suicide. Bong then works part-time as a private investigator.
A few years later, Hei married Susan (Xu Jing Lei), daughter to billionaire Chau Yuen Sing (Yueh Hua). A few days after Hei was introduced to Susan’s father, Chau and his assistant, Uncle Man (Wan Yeung Ming) was brutally killed. The police thinks it was a robbery but Susan thinks otherwise and hires Bong to help to find out the truth as Susan noted that his father and Uncle Man will never open door to strangers. Thus, she believe the killer/robber is someone they all know.
Ever since his father’s death, Susan always think someone is stalking her and this leads to lots of arguement between her and Hei. What is worst is when the rapist that Hei brutally whack at the opening shots was back and are playing this cat and mouse chase thing.
Meanwhile, Bong work together with Tsui (Chapman To) to investigate Chau’s death to only notice there were lots of clues not fitting in properly. On the side story, while getting drunk and investigating Rachel’s death at the pub, Bong stumbles upon Feng (Shu Qi), a happy go lucky bar girl who actually likes Bong. She constantly allow Bong to sleep over her place. In the midst of solving Susan’s case, he started to fall in love with Feng, who accompany him around and supporting him.
The peak soon came when Bong got hints that makes him suspect Hei is the killer. However, he still can’t understand why. Before Bong could get to the bottom of the case, Hei setup a perfect plan to kill Susan as well…and conveniently put all the blame to the rapist. When Bong, Hei and other fellow police colleagues were outside dining, Bong told Hei that Susan is actually not Chau’s daughter.
Bong finally knew that Hei is one behind all this. Apparently, Chau killed Hei’s entire family when he was very young. He witnessed how Chau killed his entire family and when he tried to run to the police station to report what he sees, he knows the police and Chau were buddies and no one would believe him. Being the only one left, he burried his pain and change his identity. He can’t let go of what happen and when one day, he coincidently notice some criminal name similar to his original name… he started to plan his way to murder Chau.
Hei thought by killing Chau, it would take away the pain from him. The revenge thing has got him so blinded. Looking at Susan lying on the hopital bed just make him realize that while he is revenging for his family’s death, he is actually killing his own family member (his wife Susan).
Bong also finds out that on the night Rachel commits suicide, she is actually waiting for her secret lover who failed to turn up because he became unconscious after a car accident on the same night. Bong orignally thought that he would be angry at his girlfriend’s lover, but he ended up taking care of the comatosed lover while he lies in the hospital.
Now… yes, notice how the story just didn’t flow in that well? I somehow thinks the story was not connected in a smooth flow way making it very much confusing and to me… it’s just bad. Some parts were too draggy while some part weren’t given much details. The by the way thing sorta kills out lots of the suspence.
Not to even mention the suspence was revealed so early ahead in the movie everyone would have known what actually happen and this makes the entire 1/2 of the movie boring and predictable. Of course, tony leung’s good acting skills manage to save a lot of it but the fact that it’s boring is still undeniable.
The point why this movie fails to be as good as Infernal Affairs is, they have such a wide scope of things to cover. Hei’s hatred, Hei and Susan’s relationship, Bong and Hei’s relationship, Bong and Rachel’s relationship, Bong and Feng’s relationship, Rachel and his secret lover,the rapist and Hei. It’s all just messed up. In the end, we just have a quick glimpse of everything with lots of questions.. why.. how… who..
The worst part, is when Susan was on a coma. The scene where Hei was at the hospital accompanying Susan took almost a good 10 mins… er.. okay.. maybe 7 minutes… and I can’t help to notice the bad editing when one can see Susan’s hand wrapped in bandage.. the next minute plastic.. then bandage.. then to plastic.. then to bandage.. then plastic. Why… why pour out such visible weakness and still showing it off for that 7 minutes. I can’t help but to laugh.
I don’t know… at the end of the day… is Bong and Hei that close? Were they close in the first place? It seems like the closer they get.. the further apart they are. Needless to say Tony Leung is great. I mean yeah.. Tony Leung… I won’t be surprised if he wins an award as Best Actor for this. Takeshi is okay.. good looking.. could never go wrong… however bad he is… just a little smile from him mends it all.
Xu Jinglei was an ultimate surprise for me. At first I sorta mistaken her for Rene Liu. I think they both looks and kinda have similar charisma. Her acting was way good than I expected. Shu Qi… what can I say, I see a lot of potential in her when she acted in City of Glass and Closer. I think she fits perfectly in the playing cool, rational and smart type of woman… but no… she keeps on playing this sorta crazy, naive, jumping around like no one’s business type of character. It sorta irritates me seeing her playing this sorta role.