The Fallen 墮落花 (2020) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew CHAN (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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Veteran Hong Kong actress Irene Wan returns to the genre that made her famous in the 90s, in the exploitation genre film - “The Fallen”. Directed by the promising “G Affairs” Lee Cheuk-pan, the film equally visually stunning as colours are infused to the point of being in a infusion of a dream effect. However, the film possesses a confusing plot and side characters that distracts the main purpose of Lee’s intentions. Although, there is a clear focus on sex and exploitation, the film never reached the point of being tasteless and that’s a credit to Irene Wan’s leading performance.
Irene Wan remains the key attraction and central to the entire duration of this infusion of colours or art. Wan plays the daughter of drug lord and drug abuse victim that goes back to the journey of revenge of those that wronged her. It’s a characteristic performance from Wan that holds the film together. Hanna Chan (“G Affairs”) plays the younger illegitimate daughter and love interest with such rawness to her character that gives life to an otherwise underused role. Kenny Kwan gives a crazy performance as another love interest and possibly heir to the drug throne. Ashina Kwok gives a decent performance and show plenty of skins, while Melvin Wong is excellent as the kingpin.
All in all, “The Fallen” is an excellent example of style over substance. Filmmaker Lee Cheuk-pan wasted a good premise and a good cast to create something more than a confusing tale of double crossing mixed within the world of drugs and sex. The story could have been given more focus on situations and happenings rather than a cocktail of infused colours and drugs to confuse the audience attention span. There is a lot to learn for Lee in this experience and if he can successfully merge his eye for style with coherent storytelling, there may be potential for better works ahead.
I rated this 6.5/10
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