Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin) (2013)

Director: Zhangke Jia
Writer:    Zhangke Jia
Cast:       Wu Jiang, Lanshan Luo, Li Meng
Language: Mandarin, Cantonese

Four independent stories set in modern China that ends up in random acts of violence. For those who are clued upon whats happening in China the events of the story will be very familiar. First one features corrupt village officials who have benefited from selling off a coal mine to local businessman. Second one is about a vagrant migrant in a bustling city who commits violence in order to steal. Third one shows a concubine mistress to a wealthy party official who lives in city without the knowledge of his wife. Last one is about a boy who in search of living ends up as a waiter in a luxury hotel which employs women for sex. He leaves the place and starts working in a Foxconn like organization where employees tend to get suicidal.

It is similar to Dev D in the sense that it strings together some characters who do things that ends up as major news that is very particular to that country (MMS scandals & Rich guys in luxury cars running over people). In Touch of Sin, I think a level of familiarity about the happenings in China would help you in appreciating the film more I think. On the whole film is a but uneven but its Kim Ki-Duk like pace and style meeting with artistic violence (wuxia) makes it a very enjoyable watch. Surprised to see such a bold film coming from China and not surprisingly it has not been cleared to screen there. Film competed for Palme d'Or at Cannes and won award for best screenplay. I haven't seen the director's other works and will be certainly keeping an eye out for his filmography.

Rating: 4.5/5