Monday, July 10, 2006


Presented by Hong Kong’s Media Asia Films, Japan’s Avex and Beijing’s Polybona Films, Confession of Pain is heralded as Asia’s event movie of 2006. Armed with a production budget of US$10m, the award-winning directing duo of the Infernal Affairs trilogy, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, plus a steamy and stellar cast with Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Shu Qu, Xu Jinglei and Chapman To, Confession of Pain is destined to be a cinematic behemoth.

The film was unveiled yesterday with the Asian press conference. The chief executives from the film companies, directors Lau and Mak with scriptwriter Felix Chong, and the star-studded cast all graced the scene in front of hundreds of the press across Asia. The two male leads, Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro, were both seen in stylish leather coats, while actress Shu Qi wowed the crowd with a sexy low-cut dress, and Xu Jinglei in an equally stunning gown.

In Confession of Pain, Leung plays a seasoned detective named Hei, while Kaneshiro is his former partner turned private investigator Bong, who is street-smart and alcoholic. The two friends team up in a gruesome murder case that gradually digs out the skeletons in their closets. Bong loses his joie de vivre but later entangled with the happy-go-lucky Feng (Shu Qi), while Hei is spinning a dangerous web unbeknownst to his newly wedded wife Susan (Xu Jinglei). Every step of their journey takes them closer and closer to one another, until a shocking denouement in which no stone is left unturned and no one can escape unscathed.

When discussing his character, Tony Leung stated that he would shed his melancholy screen persona this time. “My character may appear to be a villain, but he has an intriguing background story!” Rumor had it that the actor complained to director Andrew Lau over his screen time against co-star Kaneshiro, Tony Leung laughed and said mutual agreement had been reached in pre-production, and he had been personally closed to the director, so there would not be any argument. “It’s always comfortable to be in an Andrew Lau film,” said Leung.

Confession of Pain also reunites Leung and Kaneshiro on screen 12 years after Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express. Leung was elated to work with his co-star again, as he found Kaneshiro to be an extremely charismatic and seasoned actor, yet there wasn’t any appropriate project for them till now.

Kaneshiro was also eager to collaborate with Tony Leung, as they were never in the same scene during Chungking Express. He mused at the coincidence that he also played a cop in the Wong Kar-wai film and Andrew Lau was one of the cinematographers. So this time was both a familiar and refreshing experience to him. A reporter commented on the actor’s volatility when choosing projects, Kaneshiro simply smiled and said, “my principle is always to look for a great script, great co-actors and director. And I’ve found them all in Confession of Pain.”

As for Shu Qi, she confessed that she had no idea how to play her character at the beginning, except that it required her to be idyllic. When being asked if there would be any intimate scene with Kaneshiro, the actress indeed revealed her idyllic nature. “I’m really looking forward to that as well. I’ve already bribed the directors to arrange a passionate scene for us.” “Takeshi also did the same!” Andrew Lau jokingly replied. Kaneshiro didn’t understand it at first, but he laughed heartily upon hearing from his interpreter.

From the phenomenal Infernal Affairs trilogy to the manga-adapted Initial D, the multiple award-winning trio – formed by directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, with scriptwriter Felix Chong – has proved time and again of their cinematic aesthetics and commercial judgment. With crème de la crème from every production aspect, Confession of Pain will undoubtedly take the Asian theatres by storm.

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