OF PAIN (2006-HK)
review by Neo
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is no Infernal Affairs…
Confession of Pain is exactly the type of movie that is so hyped up and combining with the ever dependable Tony Leung Chiu Wai, how can it possibly go wrong. Maybe it is because Neo watched this at the cinemas on Christmas Eve and quite frankly expected something more shocking and surprising than a rehash of what is already been seen millions of time before in Hollywood movies. In that it is a disappointing achievement and when the actual substance doesn’t actually strike a cord with the audience until the end, you can only feel further disappointment. From the directors of Infernal Affairs, one would expect better, but the plot goes from cliché to cliché and eventually attempts to throw in some sort of classy ending that only leaves the audience more muddled than it should be. Sure there are redeeming factors, and credit must be given to the directors for not totally going the easier route, but rather emphasis with Tony Leung’s character, and the reasons behind his own internal turmoil and the conflict of his mind both in the past and present. Still, this is a wholly average attempt and the result is pretty much falling way below the hype and expectation.
Tony Leung Chiu Wai is Neo’s favourite actor and he is without question, HK’s best dramatic actor for the past decade or so. His performance here isn’t exactly top notch, but his steer presence kept the audience watching the depth of his acting abilities. This is by no means an award winning performance, but in all ways, he pulled off an immensely difficult role to some degree of success. Takeshi Kaeshiro isn’t an actor with the greatest range, but can be equally convincing as seen in plenty of Wong Kar Wai’s flicks. Shu Qi appears here and there and seems more annoying than sexy. With that being said, Chapman To, is fast becoming the funniest supporting actors in HK today. After his underrated comic relief in Infernal Affairs series, Initial D and Colour of Truth, his performance here is pitch perfect and provides much needed comic relief in an over wise an uncompromising movie. His comic timing has improved and the moment he appears on screen, it is already worth a giggle or two. Laughing at him or with him, Chapman To, has succeeded in drawing a smile on my face.
Those expecting Infernal Affairs should really look elsewhere, as Confession of Pain is really no where near that caliber nor is it aimed at a similar genre. Yes, it is about cops and good guys and bad guys, but ultimately it is partly a love story and partly about revenge and identity. Everyone have a reason for their actions, whether it is good or bad. Directors Mak and Lau fail in every department, except for the redeeming ending and the seemingly high production values. Ultimately the film is too predictable to be a thriller, too few Chapman To, to be a comedy and far too much Shu Qi to be not annoying. With that being said, the most important element that this film lacks is the almost non-existent connection with the audience and the effect is leaving the audience muddled up and confused. All in all, Confession of Pain is really a confession from the directors to the audience about how much pain it is to director this movie. Really, some parts of the journey is painful to endure, but at least they tried…
I rate it 6.75/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Genre: Thriller, Romance
Directed by LAU Wai-Keung and MAK Siu-Fai; written by Felix CHONG.
Starring: Tony LEUNG Chiu-Wai, Takeshi KAESHIRO, Shu Qi, XU Jinglei, Chapman TO.