Guilty Pleasure in Andrew Lau’s Daisy (2006) September 4, 2007Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films.
Originally published in Digital Buryong on June 24, 2007.
Original Title: 데이지
Director: Andrew Lau
Cast: Jeon Ji-Hyun, Jung Woo-Sung, Lee Sung-Jae
Shot entirely in the Netherlands, Daisy is Andrew Lau’s Casablanca. Great story. Pulsating action. Breathtaking shots. Imaginative camera movements. Eclectic editing. Impressive metaphors. And a trio of talented actors.
Lau’s authorship of his films is apparent ever since the Infernal Affairs trilogy. Characters entangled in society’s web of coincidence. Men from the opposite sides of law. The contrast of urban loneliness, romance, gunshots, massacre, and bloodshed. And in Daisy, a woman trapped between two men, swimming through sick lullabies, unrequited love, and unspoken endearment.
The use of visual and aural allegories is stunning. Paintings. Rain sequences. Poetry. Dialogues. Fade out, fade in. Also, Lau’s action sequences are reminiscent of John Woo’s, not only in this film but also in his other works. I salute the way he plays with the narrative, stylish but not overly manipulative. His films are very commercial but he still leaves his signature in each one of them. Almost 50 years ago, Michael Curtiz was Warner Bros’ resident studio director. Despite compromises and rough arguments against WB bosses, his films are still excellently-made. Casablanca is an undying testament to that.
This is just my second Jeon Ji-Hyun film after Il Mare and I must admit, she’s really wonderful. Her gestures and line delivery are moving. Timing, just perfect. And the great thing about her? She’s simple. A personality often ignored by entertainment stars afflicted by hydrocephalus.
3-Iron may be my most favorite Korean film as of the moment but Daisy stands out as the most affecting. As that billboard in the final scene says, No matter what, the future can be changed. * * *