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Archive - 10th Five Flavours Film Festival


San ren xing
Hong Kong, China 2016, 88’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Johnnie To
screenplay: Yau Nai Hoi, Lau Ho Leung, Mak Tin Shu
cinematography: Cheng Siu-keung
editing: Allen Leung, David M. Richardson
music: Xavier Jamaux
cast: Louis Koo, Vicky Zhao, Wallance Chung, Lam Suet
producer: Johnnie To, Yau Nai Hoi
production: Milky Way Image Company, Media Asia Films, Shanghai Hairun Film & TV Production
language: Mandarin, English, Cantonese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Taipei FF 2016; Fantasia IFF 2016; Melbourne IFF 2016; Rio de Janeiro IFF 2016

Film description

A deadly intelligent gangster with a police bullet stuck in his head, an uncompromising cop, and and ambitious, stubborn doctor... The three strong personalities meet in a busy hospital in Hong Kong, where the police escorts the criminal. To survive, he needs an immediate surgery. Yet, he prefers to stay chained to the bed and wait for his pals to come for his rescue. Because they undoubtedly will... In the next few hours, the ward, fraught with overworked medics and patients' dramas, will witness a thrilling battle for life and honor.

Johnnie To is an exquisite stylist, one of the few in modern cinema. "Three", his return to the world of gangsters and police officers, is a perfect example of that. The director subtly cuts reality into spectacular frames and puts them together with surgical precision, creating dazzling sequences. The effect is a grand spectacle in which small, seemingly irrelevant elements and gestures form a fascinating cinematic puzzle. As time passes, tension builds up, culminating in an explosive, unavoidable finale, which brings to mind the works of John Woo and Sam Peckinpah, and introduces new quality into action cinema.

A treat for thriller fans, "Three" is also a battle between superb actors. The emotionless cop is played by the star of "Drug War", Louis Koo, and the doctor is portrayed by Vicky Zhao, one of the most popular Chinese actresses. It is a rare example of a strong female character in Johnnie To's film! The supporting roles are also filled by many of the director's favorite actors.

Marcin Krasnowolski

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