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Diary (2006)

Charlene Choi , Isabella Leong , Oxide Pang Chun  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlene Choi, Isabella Leong, Shawn Yue
  • Directors: Oxide Pang Chun
  • Writers: Oxide Pang Chun, Thomas Pang
  • Producers: Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001KEGR66
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,393 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Diary" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

While spending her days crafting wooden dolls and writing in her diary, pretty young Winnie waits in vain for the return of her boyfriend, Seth. One day she meets another man who so closely resembles her lost love that Winnie brings him into her life and tries to mold him in Seth's image... but all is not as it seems. Packed with mind-bending twists and turns, this riveting psychological thriller from the creators of The Eye is packed with eye-popping special effects and will keep you guessing until the shocking ending!

STARRING: Charlene Choi (from the international pop sensation Twins, star of Vampire Effect and Storm Warriors) Isabella Leong (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) Shawn Ye (Infernal Affairs series, Invisible Target)


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best August 22, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Charlene Choi is a schizophrenic woman obsessed with another man (played by Shawn Yue) in this film by director Oxide Pang. The condition of schizophrenia is given ample attention and the script is exceedingly well-written and complex. The visuals are dark with limited (yet effective) use of CGI to communicate important elements to the viewer. There are a lot of twists and turns within this originally structured storyline, but in the end they are all logical extensions when the film is studied and understood properly. This is one of the best horror films I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

If Gillian Chung had her breakthrough performance in Beyond Our Ken (2004), then Charlene Choi has now officially had her breakthrough performance in Diary (2006). She's practically unrecognizable from her previous roles. She's psychologically fragile, obsessive, desperate, subtle, and very unstable. In other words, she's fantastic.

The cinematography and settings are gorgeous, using a variety of techniques to create a dim, murky atmosphere. Some scenes are in black-and-white, while others are shot with restricted colors. The overall feel of the film reminded me of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's work, absent the ambient soundtrack - Oxide uses his trademark horror beats to great effect here. The limited CGI is very fantasy-like, which is interesting considering the fact that it occurs within an apartment. Basically, Diary is eye candy from minute one.

It is ironic that all of the great storytelling that was lacking from Re-Cycle (2006) has miraculously appeared in Diary. It's almost as if the Pangs decided to sacrifice the former for the latter, because Diary simply could not be written more effectively. It acts like a mystery that slowly reveals itself until the very last frame.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abstract Psychological Thriller/Suspense January 5, 2010
Format:DVD
Understanding and following 'Diary' comes much easier than attempting to clearly explain it. The film delves into the world of a young lady whose recent break up has left her evidently uneasy, neurotic and insecure. These attributes are acted out in a great manner even while reading along with the subtitles. Throughout the movie, you feel different emotions toward the main character and thanks to the great story and the substance it provides, you are able to be drawn in close to the characters. The film is shot very nicely with great uses of flashbacks when needed and even an obscure flash back that takes you through a second phase of the movie.

While the movie, for me, is difficult to explain it is one that I really enjoyed watching and was able to follow. This for me signifies a successful and great film. It takes a dark, schizophrenic and insecure world and through its layered visions and immense angst, weaves a story that has you questioning what you're seeing and what you're believing.

To explain the film is beyond me and simply, there are plenty of movie and plot summaries out there. But as a movie, I think this is a very successful film and a great entry in the catalog of the Pang's. It is wonderfully shot, edited and produced nicely, with superb acting, an in-depth plot with enough uncertainty and twists to keep me satisfied and was truly an enjoyment to watch.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of sight, sound, and sadness July 16, 2008
Format:DVD
Criticisms of the writing and screenplay aside, this is an engaging film on the surface. I loved it even though I didn't get it. The creative camera angles, the mostly gray/green color palette accentuating a sense of disease or decay, the original music and sound design, and the beauty of the actors add up to a sensuous ninety minute delight. At times the film seemed adrift on a sea of music carried along by the score instead of leading it, while at other times the conspicuous absence of any sound almost embarrasses the viewer in moments of voyeuristic character study. Having said that, there isn't much depth or background to the characters in Diary, but the focus on their moments of here and now is sharp and clear.

Charlene Choi is magnificent as the schizophrenic, sad and lonely Winnie. Her face has a beauty suited to smoldering evil or desperate sadness inside, and she presents this facade so convincingly that in her very few, very brief moments of happiness, the shy and hopeful smile that accompanies the change evokes the poetic innocence of a rescued child. It's captivating and magnetic. It draws the viewer into a collaborative dream of promise that when quickly and sadly broken the feeling of empathy is profound. That's good acting and directing.

***SPOILER ALERT***
The ending very clearly presents a major twist. The cast credits only three people, so one must conclude that the real instigator was Winnie's neighbor but it sure didn't look like the same person to me. Her character was presented as a likely ne'er do well, but I'm not sure if it was her or if it was some alter ego, some schizophrenic other personality of Winnie.
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