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Overheard 3 
   2014-06-05 17:57:49    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Lu Chang

Overheard 3. [photo: baidu.com]

Overheard 3 is a 2014 Hong Kong-Chinese crime-thriller written and directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong. It stars Sean Lau, Louis Koo, Daniel Wu and Zhou Xun, and it is a story about high-tech electronic monitoring and the real-estate industry in Hong Kong new territory.Laimin has the review!

 

Wire-tapping has always been just a hook in Siu Fai Mak and Felix Chong's "Overheard" series, the third and latest installment presents the most advanced techniques of espionage, but the gadget-mongering never overshadows the moral discourse in a Hong Kong-specific context.

The story is set in modern time New Territories, Hong Kong, when the largely agrarian peninsula is targeted by powerful real estate tycoons, much like the rest of contemporary China. The influx of capital wakes up insatiable desires in the local residents and threatens to obliterate traditional, family-centered values. Qing Wan Lau, Daniel Wu, Louis Koo each represent a different character being caught in the game of eavesdropping.

The keyword that introduces the story is "small house policy", whereby each indigenous male villager no younger than 18 is entitled to build a small house during his life time. To start business in the New Territories, property developers invest generously to purchase the entitlement from the villagers. Local delegates, having realized they can make huge profits because of this, seek to bypass developers for more money. In this process, the conflicts between different interest groups become a microscope, which puts human greed at the focal point.

Movies about the dark side of humanity have been made throughout the history of motion pictures; what makes this one special is its distinctive Hong Kong characteristic. As a story set in the modern international metropolis, most of its characters are villagers. This creates a huge contrast and allows viewers an alternative perspective at the trend of property developments that have been fueling the national economy for the past few years.

The story is a bit challenging to understand, due to its complexity and the sheer number of characters involved, but the script is apparently written with devotion. Many funny scenes that put a brake on the intense storytelling turn out to be important precursor for later developments--that's kind of like a lost art in Chinese filming making.

The "Overheard" series has always been dominated by male characters. Mainland actress Zhou Xun is not given the opportunity to bloom, but she does better than the other female actress, Michelle Ye, further proof that Hong Kong filmmakers should start scouting for new female talent before viewers get used to seeing these roles occupied by mainland faces.

 
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