After watching all the latest blockbusters, if you are now looking to clear your conscience, please run to see the Chinese movie Black Coal rewarded at the Berlin Film Festival with a Golden Bear.
This film respectfully belongs to the Film Noir genre, modern and poetic across a realistic China and a complex and mysterious plot. A movie from art-house cinema, with a directing using very aesthetic ambiances without overdo them.
But let me spell out the truth; even though indie movies are by principle an original suggestion from an author that might not win everyone heart, the audience still has not to accept everything in the name of « the beauty of the art ». Indeed, despite quite daring shot angles, great actors’ performances and very stylized ambiances compositions, there are some aspects that deserve a BUT. The main female character, the femme fatale, has commonly to be complex, but without be pushed at the extreme until not being credible anymore: honestly, between the wounded woman, the victim, the one who discloses her true intentions, who takes advantage on different boards and manipulates, you might get completely lost, not to say lost complet interest for her! What a shame, the movie actually develops its whole plot on this character! In the middle of the film, when you watch the umpteenth face to face between the inspector and her, you end up wondering: why are you still here? Still putting up with their ceaseless infertile and redondant dialogs. Too much mystery kills the mystery!
Lastly, have you ever wonder when watching: this film would have been great if only it would have just stopped at this precise scene instead of one hour later? (Like with The Place Beyond The Pines for example). Well, that was exactly the feeling I had for this film. With a very tense scene, at the pic of manipulation and trahison around the first 60min of the film, I would gladly accepted it as the final conclusion. On the contrary, after solving the main plot, a second part is developed in a section you could have called « to go further ». However, for the reasons raised up upper, an ambiance and so slow aesthetic and the feeling of get hold of the last screenwriting ressources, this part does not bring so much.
What to remember from this movie: a director who tries and knows how to handle his camera, his cast, and offers harmonious visuals and tense scenes respecting the art of Film Noir genre! But damn, why in the world this second part?