Wednesday, March 24, 2010

[HKFILMART 2010 Review] Cut (International Premiere)

I have to admit I was enticed by the synopsis that mentioned the film was shot in one continuous take. The truth is most of it is, some 62 minutes worth of it, and that alone is reason enough if you buy into the gimmick. After all, you will have to put up with a curiously amateurish opening (done for a reason of course) that had some really deliberate bad acting just to get you into the mood for what's going to unravel, because the next action sequence won't turn up until half an hour later.

Set primarily within and around the confines of a mansion, I felt the story was nothing to shout about, being but a narrative piece that seemed secondary to the technical aspects of the film. Written and directed by Alexander Williams, ample time got devoted to introducing the group of 6 characters one by one, and there were some really uninteresting dialogue going on that had me switching off in some parts as they were really going on talking about uneventful back stories, suffice to know that they are in the home of someone else's uncle, and the introduction also allowed us to have a first hand look into all the rooms, nooks and crannies that will be useful come later in the film.

Basically, once we get past the introduction, things start to pick up. Suffice to say that our group somehow finds themselves terrorized by a group of clown face paint wearing thugs who are out for blood and will stop at nothing until everyone in the house is killed off. Equipped only with things found in the house and used as makeshift weapons, the narrative then unravels itself in real time as we are supposed to root for the individuals to get out of their predicament.

Taking place pretty much like a stage play, one must salute the technical brilliance of the film, having shot most of it in one single take, and you can imagine the kind of logistical nightmare that presents itself should any one part just failed to make the grade, or someone was to miss the cue. Sure there could be other films already made which employed similar techniques, but to me, it is still a marvel to wonder at the sheer determination for anyone wanting to pull such a film off, and the countless amounts of time and dedication that went on behind the scenes (some as seen during the end credits) to ensure things get worked out to perfection.

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