Movie Details
OVERHEARD

OVERHEARD

A major stock exchange in the world, Hong Kong attracts not only money but anyone who tries to manipulate the market. At the Hong Kong Police Force Commercial Crime Bureau, an operation is underway to infiltrate a trading company where a man nicknamed Boss is the chief suspect. The team, led by Inspector Leung (Lau Ching Wan) together with Yeung (Louis Koo) and Lam (Daniel Wu) installs bugs to monitor the communications. When crucial information on a surging share is intercepted, a moment of greed now puts them in a crossfire between the Bureau and the boss.

Language: Cantonese
Subtitle: Na
Classification: 18PL
General Release Date: 30 Jul 2009
Genre: Thriller / Drama / Crime
Running Time: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
Distributor: RAM ENTERTAINMENT
Cast: Daniel Wu, Louis Koo, Lau Ching Wan, Zhang Jingchu
Director: Alan Mak, Felix Chong
Format: NA



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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.5 Out of 5
Plot: 4.0 Out of 5
Effects: 3.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: "The Lives Of Others", "Eye In The Sky", "Infernal Affairs"

The celebrated partnership of scriptwriters Felix Chong and Alan Mak ("Infernal Affairs") has produced yet another 'non-triad' Hong Kong movie that is leaps and bounds better than anything that could be playing in the next hall, wherever in the world you might be watching this at the time of release.

Choosing to only graze the surface in showcasing police surveillance work, this is a stylish, calculated story about three cops from the CCB (Commercial Crime Bureau) in HK who go from knee-deep to waist-deep in corruption cover-up when they greedily decided to withhold a little stock info when bugging a dodgy listed company. By the time Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu get to neck-deep, you'll be inclined to agree that it doesn't pay to live a lie, even a little one for just one time, because you keep needing to lie again to keep things dandy.

That's the recurring theme in "Overheard" - the inescapable and unenviable desperation of its protagonists to keep up appearances. Just like in "Protege", we're taken on the whole can-you-really-blame-them guilt trip dualities and self-question. It's well-contained, it's substantial and most of all it's nail-biting fun although we may not reach the kind of scene-to-scene anxiety since Tony Leung last cracked his plaster cast in "Infernal Affairs".

Speaking about "Protege", Zhang Zi Yi lookalike Zhang Jing Chu (the more alluring Zhang if you ask this reviewer) doesn't do enough as the lead actress here, when placed among the proven trio. Fujian's finest is here caught outclassed, despite having the role of a woman caught between Lau Ching Wan's cop character and Alex Fong Chung Sun as the superior. Still, the overall cast lineup is impressive and we also get to see a bit of Lam Ka Wah and some Michael Wong. They must have all acted their hearts out since they look pasty-faced at the Hong Kong premiere a few days ago!

To sum it up, "Overheard" is easily one of this year's most enjoyable Hong Kong dramas with its tight story and sombre tone. It's impact without violence and war without words. It's a whole lot less pretentious (and ambitious) than the previous works of those two guys as well. Watch it if only to find out how every conventional mobile phone is a self-emitting bug!


Cinema Online, 30 July 2009
   

 
 
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