Sao Du / The White Storm (2013) - Emotional majesty in one of the top three Chinese movies of the last ten years - 10/10 (09/08/14)
The Chinese action-drama "The White Storm" took me completely by surprise and I consider it even as the best movie of the year 2013. It's an emotional and almost epic movie about anger, betrayal, despair, forgiveness, friendship, loneliness, loss, love, regret and revenge.
Almost all elements convinced me in these two hours and twenty minutes. First of all, there is the story that comes around with moments of tension and action but there are also calmer and even philosophical passages. The film has one major twist and several more original ideas but the whole thing always remains realistic enough to convince and never gets boring either.
The acting in this movie is simply brilliant. The three main actors Ching Wan Lau, Louis Koo and Nick Cheung portray three unique and despair-ridden characters that perfectly complement each other. As a viewer you really care about this characters but as this is no Hollywood movie, don't expect a complete happy end.
Despite a gripping plot around drug dealing issues in beautiful locations in China and Thailand among others, great chasing, martial arts and shooting sequences and flawless images, sounds and words, it's especially the emotional content of the movie that made this film not only a very good but an excellent movie. There were many sad but still a few hopeful moments in this movies that got me extremely close to crying which very rarely happens to me in movies.
If you are a fan of Hongkong action cinema of the past three decades, intense thrillers with a few twists and credible dramas with gripping characters and touching dialogues, you must watch this movie. This is more than just a highly entertaining and modern movie. Don't be surprised to still think for several days about this film and to have a few tears in your eyes. If we consider the touching biopic "Mao's Last Dancer" from 2009 as Australian movie, then this here is by far the best Chinese film since Jet Li's "Fearless" in 2006.
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