March 1, 2009

Mad Detective (movie of the month, February 2009)

The best movie I watched during February 2009 was Johnnie To’s amazing Mad Detective.  (My January entry was Man on a Wire.)  The movie’s plot is highly original – an insane detective (Bun) gives his boss a retirement present – his ear.  After being forced to retire, he is called in again to help with a murder spree using a stolen police gun.  “Don’t use logic to investigate – use your feelings!”   Bun freely hallucinates to find the true inner character of various persons – in the case where there are conflicting personalities, he sees multiple people.

The movie is visually striking, as the view switches between “Bun’s” schizophrenic views and the "natural” view.  The film further benefits from outstanding acting from Ching-Wan Lau, an eerie modernist soundtrack, and amazing Ka-Fai Wai script.  It is the most original mystery film I’ve seen since Memento.

The film is rather violent in parts, and is not appropriate for children.


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