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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked this movie! The visual and sound effects are beautifully done! Work of art. This movie is not so much horror as it is a psychological thriller. Read morePublished 9 months ago by badsquad
guess I was expecting more or maybe something different.
personally I would not recommend this. Sorry just my opinion. y
This is the film that introduced me to the hot Charlene Choi from the Chinese pop duo TWINS. Fell in love with this film at first watch, and the twist at the end was the seal and... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Aria Araya