Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Running on Karma (2003)

Chinese title: Big Guy with Big Wisdom.
Alternative Chinese title (appears in this poster): Big Guy.

Running on Karma (2003)The Big character, played by Andy Lau in a full prosthetic suit, reminds me of superhero from DC Comic. This, by the way, is a high compliment. DC Comic is a hot bed of imagination that crystallises in the superhero(es/ines, who deal with many social/political/philosophical issues.

I have problem deciding which section of the list I place this movie into as many Johnnie To / Wai Ka-Fai movies are unconventional, meaning they defy to be pigeonholed into conventional genre. So I just put it in the same genre as most of his movies fall into.

The idea of not being too stubborn, obstinate, wilful, too limited by conventions and constraints, and one must let go of things are made abundantly clear and the central theme of the movie. This idea is being illustrated with his job in striptease, and smoking. The directors certainly take this advice to hearts when it comes to making their films. They don't stick to old conventions, or precepts.

My Left Eye Sees Ghost (2002), Running on Karma (2003), and Mad Detective (2007) are trilogy of movies where their hero(es/ines) have special "visions". In the 1st one, our heroine sees ghosts with her left eye, in the 2nd, our hero sees past lives, and in the 3rd, our hero sees other people's multiple personalities. This special visions are similar to the superhero(es/ines) from DC Comic. E.g. Superman has X-Ray vision.

To me, Johnnie To / Wai Ka-Fai team is 1 of the more interesting thing comes out of HK film industry in the last 10 years. This trilogy of 3 movies are re-inventing, re-invigorating, re-interpreting, and breathing new lives into the existing tired old HK films' supernatural, action and crime genres respectively. And all 3 movies are allegories of something that are far deeper than its surface stories with some meats to chew on (so to speak).

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