On the occasion of the upcoming release ofETERNITY, the 7 September 2016 (see the promising trailer), we wanted to get back on the filmography of the director, franco-vietnamese Tran Anh Hung.
In the light of his fourth film, one could say that the cinema of the author is made of vibrations. His first feature film, The scent of green papaya (1993) was a masterpiece of technical lined with a delicate film for sensitive and focused almost exclusively on the female figures… When Cyclo (1995) was a film more manly, more masculine, but still delicate and sensitive, watermark. The vertical of the summer (2000) renouait with the film of good women or men, however, were largely in their place, while I COME WITH THE RAIN tells of again, a story of men. A polar virile, muscular, sick and melancholy, a case of contrasts served not by his tale, as one might expect, but by a fascinating study theological-emotional of the human soul, or the violence is the catalyst or the outlet of characters consumed by the doubts and the inadequacies in the world.
They are dedicated and each, a faith that is latent in an idol. Drugs, money, Gods, flesh, death, oblivion, power, or even justice… Deities of material or immaterial being the only ones able to provide answers to their existential questions through their different tragedies. The scenario devious, the film is so constructed so as to arrange the confrontations between these different times, in spite of any logic of narrative, or wanting to captivate the viewer by the narrative… who are interested in Tran Anh Hung, it is to observe these shocks melancholy striking characters, when they are suddenly out of their comfort inside.
This key of reading, fascinating and mesmerizing it is, however, does not solve all the problems of coherence of the film.
The story opens, for example, several cross-story – the troubled past of Kline, faced with a serial killer inspired Lovecraft-ienna (sic), to the status of guru disappeared Shitao, through an immersion in the local mafia, the story between the boss of this mafia to a woman who fascinated him, or the observation of the morals police, and of course, this evocation of the reports (economic, social, cultural) between the Philippines and Hong Kong… a Rich track which will only be explored as a unique point of view, that of the involvement of psychological and emotional violent events on the characters, as put to the test, therefore, of their faith. One can’t help to say that other treatments were possible, or at least would have been able to coexist in a certain balance.
“I Come With The Rain, a polar sick and fascinating, sublimated as much as ravaged by her attraction to the melancholy, the violence and the religion. “
This logic of the melancholy that also validates the strange casting of the film. If the monolithism of Josh Hartnett is well suited to the character of the observer’s empathetic but paradoxically nihilistic, and emotionally distant, the choice of angelica, Byung-hun Lee can surprise it in the role of “the most odious of the guys”… Except if you say that Tran Anh Hung seeking that glow fleeting, which expresses the distress of the most complete in the home of a man who has nothing to allow it to appear, and that for this he exhibits the character played by the Korean actor, situations hurting constantly for his pride and his feelings. Ditto for the Cronenberg-ian* , Elias Koteas, which explores a more metaphysical through his character, however, very marked, of serial-killer. As to the usually sun Tran Nu Yên-Khê, one grieves to see her here as under-exploited, in the vulgar role of’object of melancholy.
Yet and still this melancholy regarding the soundtrack… Climbing up the wall of Radiohead for example. A song that expresses very well this fear is universal that our phobias buried begin to take over our perceptions, that is, in and of itself, the state of Kline by the time we hear the song… However, the musical electro-rock languid in the title does not fit to the scene in which we hear it, sticking ideally looking lost to Byung-hun Lee and Josh Hartnett, but denoting with what the story is trying to tell us, namely, a survey that follows its own inexorable course. Far from being a unique case, it’s the same for most of the epiphanies of the characters are lead to the paradoxical sounds post-rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt Zion or Explosions in The Sky.
Favour melancholy, sensual and introspection is therefore at the same time the great success of the film… But eventually serve; I COME WITH THE RAIN looks too ostensibly to ogle the side of the polar pure juice, it is supposed to be.
*We mean by a Cronenberg-ian: charismatic, visceral, sensitive and cerebral, both
The staging of the polar in and of itself therefore relies on gimmicks very recognizable. Those kind of (car chases, fights, search for the disappeared, the influence of the femme fatale on the men, demonstrations of virility, etc), but also those used by the production: flashbacks, fades, cuts sudden the music extradiégétique to illustrate the severity of the action, playing on the contrasts, violence, off-field shown frontally by inserts… in Short: the kind of things that one has always the impression to have already seen elsewhere (hello SE7EN !), but still set the scene with elegance.
For the rest, the sensoriality and the delicacy typical of the cinema of Tran Anh Hung is exclusive to use very thrust of the symbolism, particularly religious (cross) in the mess on the screen, flogging, blessings, etc.). All in all, the impression of a backward step in terms of ambitions-formal combined with a certain mastery of the language of film in order to accompany the speech of the film.
Despite the presence of an actor popular as Josh Hartnett, and a wrap polardeuse rich, I COME WITH THE RAIN remains a film inaccessible, hermetic. It reminds of another work of which the director seems to be lost in the exploration of exotic themes that are too personal, Only God Forgives. There or Nicolas Winding Refn délocalisait in Thailand, his obsessions with violence and his fascination for The Woman, tries to draw a map of the human soul, by the prisms exclusive of religion, violence, and melancholy. If this results in a film with a fantastic depth of these points of view, this also causes inconsistencies, ellipses, or facilities relating to the scenario. Some research we have also learned that the film is finalized in the chaos, particularly because of conflicts in court between Tran Anh Hung and his producer. The final cut, disowned by its own author, so there may be a truncated version (or higher) of the film as it was originally envisaged… which might explain why still a back taste of unfinished business, and why the film appears to deliberately restrict his ambition.
Your opinion ?
Click on the image to view the critical
The scent of green papaya (★★★★★)
“A cinema of the stimulation sensitivity, as we like !”
“A social cinema and ultra-immersive, a film that is more masculine but still sensitive”
To the vertical of the summer (★★★★☆)
“A mapping of the feeling of love through the stories, sensitive and delicate of the three couples”
I come with the rain (★★★☆☆)
“A polar sick and fascinating, sublimated as much as ravaged by her attraction to melancholy, violence, and religion”
The Ride of the impossible (★★★☆☆)
“an adaptation that is very far from its original material, where Tran Anh Hung continues its approach of the author seeking the brilliance and dreams from a story, yet very practical – even if that means losing the viewer (or reader) who has not been warned “
A fantastic adaptation of the original book which is tail-coat in the continuity of the previous work of Tran Anh Hung… Awesome but, in short, almost inaccessible
The elegance of the widows (★★★★☆)
“Tran Anh Hung and Alice Ferney share this love of the portrait of a lady, and this ability to give shape to the aspirations of female