Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Infernal Affairs - Movie review

Watched 'Infernal Affairs' a Hong Kong movie on which 'The Departed' was made in Hollywood. I put the DVD which has been lying with me for a long time on the back burner knowing that I had seen 'The Departed' and somehow thinking that 'Infernal Affairs' can never match the Hollywood version. How wrong was I - this movie was far more engrossing even without the big screen and the big names. It is incredibly taut, packed with fantastic drama and action and mostly an astounding and audacious script that blows your breath away.

It is the idea that takes the cake - and the way it is wound. The danger of a criminal who has infiltrated the police force as a mole can only be matched by a policeman who has infiltrated the dangerous mafia as a mole. The game between the good and the bad continues, with the moles playing their part simultaneously in helping their respective sides from the inside. But they are slowly feeling the pressure of the new world they have inhabited, the criminal who is now a cop wants to turn over a new leaf and the cop who is now a criminal is not sure if he can ever be a cop anymore. The war of wits between the police and the mafia, the good and the bad, the razor sharp pace and a completely unexpected end make 'Infernal Affairs' a story no one will ever forget.

The acting is of top quality - apparently, it is a star-studded cast with Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong and others. I loved this ending much more than the English movie ending and in fact pretty much everything about his movie scores over the Departed. Find it hard to believe that I rate this over a movie that has a cast that includes Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, mark Walberg and directed by Martin Scorcese? You must watch it to know what I am talking about.

They are deeply disturbing movies these movies about moles. I remember Govind Nihalani's 'Droh Kaal' (Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Milind Gunaji as the mole), which came much before 'Infernal Affairs' and 'The Departed' and has almost the same theme in an Indian context which was a deeply disturbing movie as well. The only place where 'Droh Kaal' lost out was the pace and the setting. Imagine if Nihalani had traded terrorism in Kashmir for the mafia Mumbai? The one movie maker who can make something like this in Mumbai is RGV but I wonder if he has the depth left in him to come up with a movie idea like this and do justice to it. One can only hope he does come up with one breathtaking idea like this.

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