Thursday, September 13, 2007

Review: Mad Detective

I saw Johnny To's Exiled last year at the festival and had a blast. The crowd was energetic and enthusiastic, and they should have been. He consistently brings interesting and funny Hong Kong crime drama to the festival. In Mad Detective, he teams up with Ka-Fai Wai, who also co-wrote the script, for the directorial duties.

The Mad Detective is Bun, whose methods of crime solving are beyond unconventional. In one scene, he solves a case by having another detective zip him up in a suit case and pushing it down several flights of stairs. During the Q&A, Ka-Fai explained that when writing the script for this film, they started with the question, "What if Van Gogh was a police detective?" That explains the scene where Bun (the Mad Detective) cuts off his own ear and gives it to a retiring police chief as a going away present.

That little stunt costs Bun his job and his marriage. His schizophrenia intensifies, Bun refuses to take his medication, and doesn't even realize that his wife has left him. And yet, his reputation for solving the most difficult cases lives on, and up-and-coming detective Ho seeks his help in solving a case that is haunting him.

The directors claim that they didn't intend for any scene in particular to be funny, but I doubt their comedic timing is accidental. The ending of the film is a little trite, but this is one of those movies where you're there for the ride, not the ride home. My imdb rating: 7/10.


Anonymous said...

Had to read about the movie that got you out of the funk that resulted from viewing the Woody Allen movie. Interesting. Now I'll have to see both.

Sean Sexton said...

And thanks to little old me, you know the order in which to see them.