August 15, 2006

The Incredible Crazy Stone !

Too many times in recent months, after falling for all the marketing hype and finally watching a "hit" movie in the cinema, the only feeling that I have after I come out of the theatre is one of regret, i.e. regret that I have actually spent hard earned cash to buy a ticket and valuable time to watch something that I would not even watch on TV. But the Chinese movie Crazy Stone (疯狂石头) is definitely not one of these movies. In fact, I can safely say it is the best movie that I have seen this year.

Set in the Chinese city of Chongqing, the movie is about how a motley group of thieves, including a "professional" thief from Hong Kong try to get their hands on a precious emerald pendant that is being guarded by an ex-cop with a urinary tract problem (interesting huh?). What ensues is a highly complex madcap adventure where the thieves try to steal the "stone" by all sorts of crazy unimaginable ways but are somehow foiled at every turn by the ex-cop and his bumbling colleagues (sometimes most unwittingly)... but really the movie must be watched to fully appreciate the beauty of the storyline :-P

This relatively low-budget movie with no famous stars defied all expectations and has become the highest grossing local film in China this year. The movie uses plenty of close-up shots and fast camera angles to create a hyper kinetic feel (think Brazilian movie City of God) and unexpected surprises are a dime a dozen. Another technique the director (28-year old Ning Hao) frequently employed is to show chronological events out of normal order. For example, in one particular scene, we see a canoodling couple being disturbed by a motorcyclist slamming into their car door. But in the next scene, we see that motorcyclist racing down the road before he hit the car ! For me, what attracts and sustains my interest, besides the rollercoaster-like storyline, are the characters which are unbelievable cunning yet at the same time, extremely human...

That is not to say that the movie is without flaws, some parts are just too coincidental to be believable but all in all this really is a fun movie and highly entertaining to boot :-) Watch it if you can!

[Picture from:]

Tags: , , .

No comments: