Beyond Our Ken (2004)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2005-07-09
Summary: Autobiographical: artsy, suspenseful, but a bit predictable
Whether or not this movie was independent I do not know, but it certainly illustrates the independent art film spirit: just look at the opening scene, delving right into the heart of the story without any attempt to establish the characters, as a conventional film might. Stylistically, the camera constantly puts the audience into the curious but detached position. We become one with the camera, which is often hand-held and hiding outside a fence or below eye-level, to emphasize the situational sneakiness.

There is only one problem: the story's final turnout is fairly predictable, especially with the revengeful Chinese title and the independent filmmaking spirit, it's a given that there will be revelations in the end -- kind of like the expectation one would have for a Chu Yuan wuxia pian from Shaw Bros. I don't particularly like the way it is all spelled out, although I can't fault it too much because the twist did work on some level, reminding us that all is not what it seems, and everything has at least 2 sides to it.

Apparently, Edmond Pang based the story on his own experience, and made it fairly interesting. The air is constantly filled with danger and suspense, thanks to the alternative approach to filmmaking. This is a very good movie; the acting is phenomenal (Gillian's performance is one of the best I have seen from any post-90s newcomer), and the Italian song by Gianna Nannini has become a favorite.