Janus of Life

Higher life in hand

Infernal Affairs (Mou Gaan Dou)

Posted by Janus on September 25, 2006

  • Information:
  • Title: (Infernal Affairs or Mou gaan dou)
  • Certificate: (15)
  • Released by: (Tartan video’s Tartan Asia extreme label)
  • Run Time: (100 minutes)
  • Origin: (Hong Kong)
  • Language: (Cantonese)
  • Vintage: (2002)

Ming (Andy Lau) and Yan (Tony Leung) lead parallel lives: Ming is a Triad mole in the police department; Yan is a police stooge in mob boss Sam’s (Eric Tsang) Triad gang. Both men have a desire to put their false lives behind them and to take up their rightful places in a society that eludes them.

One night, during a police raid to bring down Sam’s mob empire, the two men’s paths finally cross. Both the police and the mob soon realise that there is a mole amongst them, and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. In this race against time nobody is safe, and the lives of everyone involved become threatened. In the meantime, Superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong) does his best to keep Yan’s secret safe, but how long can the men’s hidden lives remain undiscovered? (Plot courtesy of Tartan video’s DVD Release)

Infernal Affairs was co-directed by Andrew Lau (The Storm Riders, The Park) and Alan Mak (Yuen mong shu) and stars Andy Lau (House of flying daggers), Tony Leung (Hero), Eric Tsang (Sat sau ji wong) and Anthony Wong (Kong woo giu gap) as Lau kin Ming, Chan Wing Yan, Sam and superintendent Wong respectively.

Infernal affairs was nominated for forty-one awards of which it won twenty-three including seven at the Hong Kong Film Awards beating out blockbuster Hero for the best picture award. Infernal affairs received much acclaim from critics and films goers alike, which in no doubt brought it to the attention of the western world.

I’ve heard a lot about Infernal affairs from the posts on the eternal sunset forum and had been wanting the watch it for some time, just never got round to it. I watched it at around six in the morning in late august and found myself hooked and reeled in by it’s power and the fact that it was a gangland film that had the style only supplied by the best of Hong Kong cinema, I watched this emotional epic while the time flied and I was sad when it ended. Not only because of the ending but because of the fact that it was a good film that got me total by surprise, I had been expecting something more in tune with the mountains of kung fu rubbish that Hong Kong is famed for but instead I got a well constructed film with perfect pacing and an interesting story to boot.

Style wise I do take my hat off to the directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak for they did do a job only done by the best of directors. But ultimately while it was a film I’ll never forget and which I do no doubt thing is great I just can’t bring myself to give a full score to a film packed full of stars, I know their not Hollywood stars but I just cannot stand stars. So Unfortunately it only receives a rating of (8/10).

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