Infernal Affairs - An Affair to Remember
| I had been meaning to see Infernal Affairs for a couple of years now. I remember reading about it when it was released in Asia and I meant to see it when it had a limited release in North America. Then, when The Departed was being made, I meant to see it before I viewed Scorseseís take on it. However I didnít get around to it even after seeing the American version. Finally, with The Departed nominated for many awards and Scorsese winning the Directorís Guild Award, I finally got around to seeing it.
And I am certainly glad I finally did.
Infernal Affairs is everything that they are saying about it. Itís a taught thriller which focuses more on emotional stress than on violence or ďaction.Ē The performances by the two leads (especially the gorgeous Tony Leung who I find riveting in everything heís in) are layered and complex. Itís just a great story all around and I can see why Scorsese was inspired to take it on.
I was lead to believe that the two films had little in common except for the premise but thatís not true. There are scenes in The Departed that are ripped right out of Infernal Affairs. The stories are almost identical although the American film fleshing things out a little more. At 97 minutes, Infernal Affairs tells a tight but thrilling story that is as emotionally satisfying as it is exciting.
Directors, Lau Wai Keung and Mak Siu Fai have crafted a little masterpiece here. To compare the two films is to do each an injustice. Sure they tell the same story and one might have a preference for one style over another, but in either case, itís a well put together, beautifully performed film with a wonderful story at its centre. Infernal Affairs keeps most of the violence off screen but that doesnít lessen the impact of the tragedies in the film. While it sometimes feels like itís moving too fast, it never skimps on heart. You root for both ďheroes.Ē This version is a little more black and white than the newer spin but it still delivers the goods. This is the kind of timeless film that will always entertain.
You are doing yourself a great disservice if you donít rent this the next time you are in the video store. If your store doesnít carry it, you go to the wrong store. Donít rent Mission Impossible whatever when you can rent a real adventure.