review by Neo
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After witnessing through all these unimaginative thrillers, it is about fitting time that something slightly original come into the frame. With Silk, the audience is luckily served with an interesting idea and for the majority of the flick the filmmaker succeeds in being imaginative. Taiwan used to be a huge force of Asian cinema and used to be especially strong in the box office for Asian flicks, but that have come begging in recent years. With a flick of a dice, it has been able to come up with Silk and Eternal Summer, perhaps marking a return to form by Taiwanese directors. In Silk, the director takes the route not normally taken and while the use of a child is evident in every Japanese horror, the idea and premise is different and in a way it is just enough to separate it from all those cliché. Credit must be given to Chang Chen who puts in an immensely watch-able and stunning display as well as the scene stealing sexy voice of Karena Lam, but ultimately the results came from the willing to experiment director. It is by no means a perfect movie, as flaws are filtered throughout, but at the very least it attempts to be different.
The idea and premise of the film seems very much science fiction, but for 3/4 of the flick the entire concept seems every bit believable. The mysterious of the kid, the concept of anti-gravity, the charismatic performance from Chang Chen all adds up to the cause. The use of dark and eerie shadows and colours is extremely well though out and it directly results in some outstanding cinematography to look on. While the film ended in a rather blend note, the film is never boring as the audience continue to chance for an answer as to why things are the where they are. Perhaps the filmmaker is also suggesting about how tough and difficult it is to be alive and alluding to a possible utopia that does not actually exists. Still, it is an extremely credible effort and in terms of originality, the flick almost gathers full marks.
As mentioned above, Chang Chen carries the film in the most watch-able manner and his understated acting is capably expressed out into a highly charismatic performance. In a bit of a surprise, Karena Lam is given nothing more than a bit part role that is a cameo performance at most, but all the more interesting is her ability to make something out of nothing. In an almost non-existent role on paper, Lam portrays the type of natural feeling within the audience that is not seen since her acclaimed – July Rhapsody. Her voice is immensely sexy and it has that ultimately distinct style that leaves the audience wanting more. In contrast to Chang Chen, Yosuke Eguichi frequently overacts, but is likable and sympathetic as the audience realise his underlying obsession that ultimately destroy him both literally and figuratively.
All in all, Silk is still a good effort and attempt to be somewhat original. Yes, it is not scary and it is not entirely thrilling either, but for a commercial thriller, it provides the audience with something different. While the final third is questionably uneven, it is still nonetheless a journey worth taking. Silk isn’t without flaws, but in the end it is still a science fiction where everything is meant to be possible. Whether or not the audience really buy into the idea of becoming a ghost through the preservation of the human dead body with radioactive waves, is not entirely important. Ultimately director Su succeeds in creating something different and perhaps something to think about as well…
I rate it 8.25/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Starring: Chang Chen, Yosuke Eguichi, Karena Lam Ka-Yan, Barbie Hsu, Wilson Chen, Chang Chun-Ning, Chen Kuan-Po, Wan Fang, Arthur Wong Ngok-Tai
Directed by: Su Chao-Bin
Genre: Thriller/Science Fiction