My university had a free movie screening night last night and they had this show. It’s a suspense/thriller kind of movie and I have quite a few things to say about it.

Plot: A member of the anti-terrorist organization with the police department goes after a known terrorist and loses his daughter in the process. His wife and him become estranged. He gets his revenge by gunning down the terrorist and decides to end his own life. But he gets distracted and decides to put it off. He finds a wallet, goes to return it. And strikes up a friendship with the old man to whom the wallet belongs to. The old man himself has lost a daughter in what the police has filed as an accident but he believes to be murder. So our hero tries to see if he can get to the bottom of it. The old man also tries to patch our hero up with his wife in the process.

The plot twist at the end was good. What was not good was that:

this movie was made entirely for that plot twist.

SPOILERS

The movie starts off showing our hero meeting the heroine at her house, they talk, they get married, she gets pregnant, they have a child, the daughter is four-years-old all in a matter of the first three to five minutes of the opening song. I swear my first thought was ‘is someone going to die?’. Although I was proven right, the problem is that I didn’t feel for the daughter’s death. There wasn’t much if not any character development for any of the characters. All I know is that they’re a happy family. And. The way the kid dies. Wow. How do I root for a character (hero) that’s so stupid? He had a huge part to play in his daughter’s death. I understand why he went after the terrorist with his daughter in the backseat of the car. That much I can still let pass because the terrorist was said to be in another country so to see him on the streets must have given him an adrenaline rush. I get it. But dude. Tell your daughter she needs to get behind you. To remain calm, to get down. Tell your daughter you’re going to be chasing after someone so you need her cooperation or something. Tell her you want to play a game and she needs to be quiet and calm. Set it up for her before chasing after the terrorists’ car. Because how can you just forget about your child in the backseat????????????? The kid dies because of a bullet wound, not a car flip accident which you know, might actually have been better. Suppose he had taken care of the daughter’s safety. Asked her to get behind him and needs her to get down (before getting gunned at). But the car inevitably gets flipped. He tried but life doesn’t go his way – it’s sadder than he didn’t even try to keep his daughter safe and expects me to feel sympathetic. And a car flip will still be his fault because he did go chasing after the terrorists’ car with his daughter in the backseat. But no. He dumb.

Our hero’s method of revenge. Wow. One dumb action followed by another. His team of officers have already decided for a stakeout while he rests in lieu of his daughter’s death. This piece of nugget goes and ruins the stakeout, albeit he didn’t know there was a stakeout, but still he was given a sleeping pill (said to knock anyone out for 12 hours) but goes to the residence of the terrorist (which informants found – I guess) with his gun for revenge. Boy. I’ve taken sleeping pills before. And not even the strong ones. Not even one that says it’s for sleep. The most I’ve stayed awake is an hour after taking the pill and this is after months of taking it. You don’t stay awake for as long as you did and be able to wield your gun effectively and fight effectively as you did after your first time of taking the pill. That’s an overkill.

So he kills the terrorist, goes to his daughter’s grave and puts a gun up his chin. I find myself almost in favour of this. Apologies. But a car flashes it’s light at him and distracts him. It ruins the mood and he doesn’t kill himself. Okay. Understandable. He leaves the cemetery and finds a wallet at the place of the car. Sees photos of a family inside it. And so decides to go and return it. Okay. Please proceed. It is here he meets our crippled old man who’s lost both his legs in an accident. The old man starts telling the story of how he lost his legs, his wife and his daughter to our hero. And I’m just there like what? Is he senile too? But turns out he actually knows our hero’s late daughter. The old man teaches chess and our hero’s daughter had actually learnt chess from him twice and the old man had gone to the cemetery to pay his respects when he had dropped his wallet. Okay, very good. I like this tie-in. And I love the relationship that follows after. These two people bond over their similar loss. And it’s really the best parts of the movie – their interaction with each other.

So yes, as they get closer, the old man reveals the mysterious way his daughter had died. His daughter had gone to teach the welfare minister’s daughter chess and had somehow slipped on the stairs and fallen to her death. The old man is convinced it’s murder so our hero tries to do the right thing and tries to get to the bottom of it. It’s great. I like the interactions between our hero and the welfare minister.

I love the plot twist.

But I hated the romance between our hero and his wife. It was so forcefully slow – for the plot. They are both going through grief. I understand she blames him. But she starts to show some change of emotion when our old man tells her she blames the hero for the daughter’s death but he’d seen our hero with a gun up his chin in front of their kid’s grave and asks who would she blame for that. That’s the most impactful statement you can ever say. And in their next scene together, she gives him and the rest of the old man’s chess students cupcakes. C’mon. I don’t understand why they haven’t made up at this point. But they don’t. She’s already taking the first step and I don’t see why he doesn’t. Is he still feeling guilty? That doesn’t make sense, he went to see her in the past and she shut the door on him. He obviously wants her back. And now that she’s opening the door for him, giving him a chance, he falls back? The plot is obviously forcing this on them. Because the old man says he wants her home-cooked food and when she agrees says he’ll be bringing our hero along. So it’s in this dinner scene that the couple makes up which provides the necessary distraction for our old man to pursue the murderer of his daughter (the minister) without having our hero stop him. (The old man’s life is in danger, ever since our hero started investigating the case, the old man has been getting death threats which is why our hero doesn’t want the old man to pursue the minister on his own).

Now about the death threats. I find that our hero is going about it all wrong and ridiculous. See he gets phone calls from the guy making the death threats. The guy making the death threats seem to know everything that goes on in both the old man and our hero’s life – to the exact words they use in conversations. The guy says he’s everywhere and he knows everything. But our hero… doesn’t seem bothered about the mole in his group. He doesn’t seem bothered that his handphone number has been compromised. He doesn’t seem bothered at all about the information the guy making the threats knows. Like… why not? Another ridiculous thing for the plot to move on. He doesn’t even doubt the people around him. He doesn’t take more notice of his surroundings. Makes no sense if not for the plot.

I did like the minister story-line. I liked the tie-in with the terrorist that killed our hero’s daughter being linked to the minister and that the terrorist was only in town to meet the minister.

And I like the plot twist. I did not see that coming. But I was very annoyed when it came. Because at that point, our hero has killed the minister. But the guy who made death threats to the old man, who killed the old man, was still alive. How is our hero going about life normally? How is he not at all bothered by the lack of contact from that guy? Weird.

But again it’s for the plot.

So that’s my issue. Ultimately, it’s all for the plot twist.

2/5 – all for that plot twist. The cinematography is good though. I must say, the movie is beautifully taken. The settings are very nicely captured. But it’s not suited for this thriller movie. The story is very very very slow because of the cinematization of the scenes.

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