Directed by Johnnie To
Official Selection, 2013 Cannes Film Festival
Yesterday once more, indeed! Nine years after their last outing, the heroic trio of Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, and director Johnnie To reteam for another high-energy, genre-busting classic to go along with favorites like Needing You… and Love on a Diet. Andy Lau plays a private eye who can’t see, while Sammi Cheng is a cop tormented by a death from her childhood. She enlists the blind detective to treat her trauma, but he takes her on a ride around town solving other cases so he can collect the bounties he relies on to survive.
And what a ride it is. BLIND DETECTIVE is a dark tale with comic surfaces arranged with To’s signature clarity and playfulness. There’s cannibalism and suicide, but also a colorful grandma, tango lessons, and some casino antics. Above all, there are two stars of Hong Kong cinema giving it their sweaty all. Lau’s detective is no Sherlock. He’s a little paranoid and there’s nothing subtle about him; he slaps his walking stick on the ground like he’s shooing away the neighborhood kids. But he has his own way, feeling out new spaces and employing the most eccentric, uncompromising methods of deduction.
And then there’s Sammi Cheng, still the queen of Hong Kong cinema. If last year’s Cheng/To collaboration Romancing in Thin Air reminded us of her dramatic chops, her role in BLIND DETECTIVE is throwback zany Sammi, always a little out of breath because unhinged is hard work. And of course, through it all, Johnnie To doesn’t break a sweat. –Brian Hu
Starring: Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Guo Tao