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The Odd One Dies
Year: 1997 "You gonna finish that?"
Takeshi Kaneshiro and Carman Lee
Director: Patrick Yau Tat-Chi
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Carman Lee Yuek-Tung
The Skinny: A quirky crime thriller that's surprising and even touching. One of the more rewarding films out of Hong Kong in recent memory.
by Kozo:
     Atmospheric, slow-paced, and eminently compelling, this comedy/drama/thriller from Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai and Patrick Yau is one of 1997’s best movies. Takeshi Kaneshiro is a sullen hired killer who contracts to kill a Thai gentleman in a week’s time. After a fortunate run at cards, he changes his mind. Now he can contract out; someone else will kill for him and he’ll take a cut. 
     That someone turns out to be a poor, emotionally-wounded Carman Lee. It seems she just got out of jail for killing her cousin when she was fourteen. She wants to re-contact the man who she killed for, so she uses Takeshi to interact with him. Takeshi does so, but what happens next goes beyond expectations. What begins as an ill-fated partnership blossoms into a quirky, dark, and oddly touching romance. The two lost souls find in each other a kindred spirit, and their struggle for an ounce of self-respect is a triumph of the unspoken. 
     Patrick Yau chooses to show rather than tell, and the results show character development of a quiet, affecting sort. The pacing and stark acting bring the film closer to the realm of Wong Kar-Wai films than your typical Hong Kong actioners. The title refers to the arrangement between the two killers: only one of them will live, as one must carry out the assassination. Sporting bad haircuts and dirty clothes, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Carman Lee do small wonders with their understated roles. This is a genuinely involving film and the dark humor, quirky score, subdued narrative, and stylish cinematography all shine. (Kozo 1997)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

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