Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Infernal Affairs 2 (2003) NYAFF 2012

Prequel to the classic Infernal Affairs, is possibly a better film than it's predecessor. I know that could be considered sacrilege in some corners but in others it's a well argued point. I'm not up to arguing either way, I simply think this is a great film and if you can you really should see it.

The plot is really too complicated for a simple description. The film starts some 11 years before the first film and introduces to many of the characters we knew from the first film. We see how they got to where they were at the start of the first film. Set in 1991, 1995 and 1997 the film shows how all of the characters lives are colored and changed by the darkness that they walk through.

I've always been curious if you can watch the films in reverse order, if it will make the first film seem deeper. Alternately some of the joy of the first film was not knowing all of the details and watching how the character's lives unfold... maybe someday I'll do it.

Anyway,it's screening at the NYAFF this year you really should make an effort to go. The sequel to once of the more influential films from the last decade Infernal Affairs 2 in many ways ups the ante. Here are some characters we already have a connection to, thanks to the first film, and we get to see where they came from. the fact that many of the characters have already been laid out allows for the actors to shade and color them even further. Watch, for example, Eric Tsang and Anthong Wong give a master class in acting as they all but disappear into their characters.

I like that the film is less flash and more dense. Since the film covers some 7 years of time, things are more complicated. We have plot lines, and lives stretched out and explored with a detail that wasn't possible in the earlier films mole hunt.We see a bit more of some of the characters lives and it deepens what we know about them.

Does the film stand on it's own? I suspect it does. As I said the only way I've seen the film was following closely behind the first one so I can't say I know how the film would play out on it's own. I suspect that outside of references to the first film, anyone watching it would be unaware of what things mean on a bigger level.

If you've never seen this film you really should make an effort to see it. And if you're in New York you should make an effort to see it when it screens with the first film next Friday night.

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