Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Invisible Waves

Invisible Waves (Pen-ek Ratanaruang), 2006, Thailand with Tadanobu Asano, Kang Hye-jeong (recently seen in Welcome to Dongmakgol), Ken Mitsuishi, Eric Tsang...

This pan-Asian film by Pen-ek Ratanaruang brings again some of previous collaborators of Last Life in the Universe such as prolific and talented Japanese actor, Tadanobu Asano and acclaimed cinematographer, Christopher Doyle.
Invisible Waves is an atmospheric thriller, a film noir (the range of colours of the film goes from blue to grey) with a soft touch à la David Lynch. Kyoji (Tadanobu Asano) becomes a murderer when his boss asked him to kill his wife and will promise him freedom by paying him his travel to go to Thailand where a man, Lizard, will take care of him. On the cruise, he meets Noi, a mysterious young lady who travels with her baby. (note that Noi and Lizard were also names used in Last Life in the Universe).
But as Kyoji said it seemed that the sea is judging him, the cruise is rather dreamy or more nightmarish, with mysterious things and encounters that happen to him, the cruise appears to be like a labyrinth of subconsciousness loaded by guilt or self-punishment, in search of redemption.
The film itself displays a constant, quiet travel (it is set in 3 different locations, Macau, Hong Kong and Phuket, 4 locations if we include the sea) giving a smooth, lingering pace enhanced by the soft movements of the camera.
However, even though the film has outstanding cinematography, irreproachable performances, classic, yet, well-done, narrative structure, Invisible Waves is mainly built on the character of
Tadanobu Asano, perfect here, an impassive, languid man who is overtaken by the waves of his destiny and the events imposed to him.

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2 Comments:

Blogger HarryTuttle said...

I saw it this summer too. "Pan-asian" is quite the word, I like the way characters can't communicate because of the language barrier and switch to English which is neither of their tongue.
The photography is superb, and the atmosphere very interesting but the plot is slim, even as a slef-parody.

August 17, 2006 9:16 pm  
Blogger Ouyang Feng said...

Yes, I much prefered Last Life in The Universe, but I liked the fact that we see the film from Kyoji's view, which makes his travel a bit more ambigious. I found this film less "thai" than his previous ones.
Thanks for your comment. :)

August 19, 2006 1:54 am  

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