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Election


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Product Details

  • Actors: Louis Koo, Suet Lam, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Siu-Fai Cheung, Simon Yam
  • Directors: Johnnie To
  • Writers: Nai-Hoi Yau, Tin-Shing Yip
  • Producers: Johnnie To, Catherine Chan, Dennis Law, Elos Gallo, Kok Leung Kuk
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B000UNYJOU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,400 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Election" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Every two years the senior members of the Wo Shing Triad, the oldest gang in Hong Kong, elect an up-and-coming younger boss as their chairman. The two candidates they are voting on couldn’t be farther apart in personality; Lok (Simon Yam) is a levelheaded businessman and Big D (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) is a loud, obnoxious, violent criminal. When the voting does not go how some people would have liked, lines are divided and a gang war begins to form.

Customer Reviews

The action is great, and it fits an overall scheme and an interesting story.
R9
From my point of view, this film is not perfect (3.5 stars out of 5), but it original, and well-worth seeing, if you can stand the sometimes shocking violence.
M. B. Alcat
With two principle candidates in the running for the looming election, there seems a clear division about the future of the Triad.
K. Harris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By MutantChaos on December 13, 2007
Format: DVD
Election is the first film in this gangster series (Triad Election is the sequel) from the greatest filmmaker currently working in Hong Kong, Johnnie To. If you aren't familiar with Mr. To's work, imagine John Woo with less action (at least in this film - watch Exiled, another top notch film, for more action oriented To fare) but a much better handle on story and storytelling than Woo ever had. This is less action/thrills oriented than Infernal Affairs (which it is sometimes compared to), but I think Election is a much better film.

The simple synopsis - two mob bosses, one all business and one all bluster, compete for leadership of their gang. When the election doesn't go the way some want, all hell breaks loose, threatening the stability of the already teetering Hong Kong underworld.

Tony Leung Ka Fai won the acting award for his Nicholson-esqe over-the-top performance as the loud mouth, obnoxious mob boss, but it is Simon Yam that really shines in his role - the transformation of his character over the course of this film is a 2-hour acting lesson that totally blew me away.

The U.S. DVD has all the special features that were on the Hong Kong 2-Disc Special Edition, but at a nicer price, and the transfer is excellent. I can't recommend this film enough, and the Tartan DVD is the way to go.

Attention Canadians - the Canadian release (not from Tartan) is bare-bones, this is the one to get if you are interested in special features!
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Format: DVD
Despite a tight narrative, Johnnie To's Election feels at times like it was once a longer picture, with many characters and plot strands abandoned or ultimately unresolved. Some of these are dealt with in the truly excellent and far superior sequel, Election 2: Harmony is a Virtue, but it's still a dependably enthralling thriller about a contested Triad election that bypasses the usual shootouts and explosions (though not the violence) in favor of constantly shifting alliances that can turn in the time it takes to make a phone call. It's also a film where the most ruthless character isn't always the most threatening one, as the chilling ending makes only too clear: one can imagine a lifetime of psychological counselling being necessary for all the trauma that one inflicts on one unfortunate bystander.

Extras on the 2-disc set aren't over-plentiful, but the interviews with Johnnie To, Simon Yam (always at his best under To's direction, and possibly never better here), Wang Tianlin and Tony Leung Ka Fei are more in-depth and thoughtful than usual. Also included are a brief featurette (like the interviews subtitled in English), stills galleries, 2 unsubtitled TV spots, 2 unsubtitled theatrical trailers, and booklet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pork Chop on October 8, 2007
Format: DVD
ELECTION (Hak Se Wui, 1995) starring Simon Yam (reprising his role as
a triad godfather as seen in CASINO 1997 by Billy Tang, for ex§) is a
movie intended for fans of this genre, underlying the testosterone,
discipline and ancient traditions aspects of masculinity.

Either the script's writer had a bad nightmare on which this movie
was constructed, or the writer simply decided to show a very limited,
narrow range of what comprises humanity, and understanding the latter
either poorly, or not heving been exposed to very much of it, in
reality.

The aforementioned aspects seems to eat away at the classy aspects
that a picture craves, this film suffering also from the homicidal
behavior that the movie shows at the 90 min mark.

The strong point of this picture, is a story centering on the
election of a triad successor, which the audience will recognize as
similar to modern politics. Any strategy is good, to get to the top
...payoffs to electors preparing to cast their votes to win their
favor, maneuvering, violence, kidnappings, brutality, financial
enticements all the while, with a law enforcement presence that
delays, complicates and hinders the entire underground electoral
process.

Key street-level bosses are called in a meeting, to vote for one
candidate or another, raising their hand to signal their approval.
Interestingly, the defeated candidates don't abandon victory so soon
or easily, fully conscious that it's fully possible to gain the upper
hand and coerce opponents with some effort and skill, from their
genetic make-ups as triad leaders having climbed to the top, to the
point of being candidates for the top dog position.
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Format: DVD
The Wo Shing triad is the oldest and most powerful gang in Hong Kong; they are also unique in their time-honored tradition of holding democratic elections among the various leaders for the big boss or chairman of the triad.This time around, succession will not happen without a fight. The two leading candidates have very different approaches to leadership, and neither can effectively lead while the other retains his strength. While "Big D" craves power for its own sake, "Lok" is a shrewd businessman and devoted father who sees crime as a means to an end and values stability, peace and tradition. When it comes time for a new leader, and "Big D" refuses to accept defeat, it looks like civil war within the triad is imminent.

Hong Kong director Johnnie To can do violence. While I tend to prefer the stylistic flourishes of another major Hong Kong director, Wong Kar-Wai, there's no denying that Johnnie To's approach has a broader appeal, but doesn't dumb things down in the Hollywood blockbuster style. What is remarkable in this film is the restraint and the emphasis on the difficult choices that a leader, even a criminal leader, must make. There is no gun play, which is not to say that there is no brutal violence, but much of the action involves conversation. In the world depicted here it's not brutality but intelligence that prevail - though part of what the film shows is that a leader in this world has to be prepared to get his hands dirty. Since it is about the succession of power and the meaning of honor among organized criminals, "Election" deserves to be compared to Coppola's
...Read more ›
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