Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Detective

After I saw The Eye, which was directed by the Pang brothers, a friend of mine suggested this film directed by Oxide Pang. First of all, the film itself has a quite decent storyline. Besides, Aaron Kwok did deserve his Hong Kong Film Award for "Best actor" last year. Obviously, I'm not a huge fan of thrillers in which a murder is being resolved, but I'm sure The Detective will find an audience for itself given its certain effectiveness.

Tam (Aaron Kwok) is a private detective who has always worked on case of adultery. One day, a drunk man comes in his office and offers him money. This man wants Tam to investigate about a woman (who appears to be missing) who might possibly be a killer. However, as Tam's investigation advances, many suspects will die and his life will be threatened.

Have you ever read any novels featuring Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes? By being darker and a little bit more violent than its predecessors from the last century, The Detective is the good "whodunnit" you'd expect to see nowadays. While the film is fairly interesting, one might complain that as the film advances, the film becomes a little bit predictable. This means that the identity of the killer is actually given away. However, this doesn't affect the film that much, because The Detective manages to sustain our interest by exploring guilt through some supporting characters and the attempt of Aaron Kwok's character to become a true private eye.

As a result of that, The Detective works quite well as a nice small thriller. While the film uses the same plot structure as The Eye, The Detective's conclusion is somehow satisfying. In fact, although I'm not a fan of stories about dementia, I thought that given the complexity of the case in the film, everything falls into part in a quite logic way. However, since I have one complaint to make about the film, I'll target the pace, which tended to be slow in the first half.

Finally, I didn't find this film better than The Eye, but I'll recommend it to you. In fact, when you watch this film, think about a "whodunit" from the last century (ex: Agatha Christie) with a dark atmosphere.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:Hong Kong (2007)
Length:109 minutes
Screenplay:Oxide Pang and Thomas Pang
Director:Oxide Pang
Aaron Kwok, Liu Kai-Chi, Kenny Wong, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Shing Fui-On, Kiki Sheung and Natthasinee Pinyopiyavid

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