Loyalty. Honor. Betrayal.
Directed by: Wai-keung Lau, Alan Mak
Starring : Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong
Genre : Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Runtime : 101 minutes
WI's rating : 8.4
These two characters come into full play 10 years after the opening scenes, when both of them are brought into play by their original employers, and both sides realize they have a traitor in their ranks. In a kind of symmetry which is unlikely and yet poetically appropriate, each one is assigned to find the mole -- to find himself, that is. There's another level of irony since Lau and Chan actually graduated in the same academy class, and knew each other if only by sight; Chan has no way of knowing Lau is a sleeper for the mob, but Lau knew at the time that Chan was a cop, and possibly knew he disappeared to go undercover. The two meet by chance years later in a stereo store, but don't recognize each other -- a possibility easier for us to accept because they were played by other actors as younger men.
|Keung: Remember this, if you see someone doing something but at the same time watching you... then he is a cop.|
|Lau Kin Ming: I have no choice before, but now I want to turn over a new leaf. |
Chan Wing Yan: Good. Try telling that to the judge; see what he has to say.
Lau Kin Ming: You want me dead?
Chan Wing Yan: Sorry, I'm a cop
Lau Kin Ming: Who knows that?
But this plot, clever and complex, is not the reason to see the movie. What makes it special is the inner turmoil caused by living a lie. If everyone you know and everything you do for 10 years indicates you are one kind of person, and you know you are another, how do you live with that? The movie pays off in a kind of emotional complexity rarely seen in crime movies. I cannot reveal what happens, but will urge you to consider the thoughts of two men who finally confront their own real identities -- in the person of the other character. The crook has been the good cop. The cop has been the good crook. It's as if they have impersonated each other.