“Smart people also make mistakes but they know when to quit.”
Where the Wind Blows is the latest International Feature submission for Hong Kong. It’s an ambitious film, spanning four decades worth of information about two police officers who rose up the rankings in Hong Kong, led by Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai.
Kwok plays Lui Lok, a new recruit whose principles set him apart from his other peers. During the 1940s and 1950s, most citizens in Hong Kong were afraid of the policemen, so bribes were common amongst the force. Lui Lok was different though, and his reluctance to accept money caused him to be an outlaw amongst his compatriots resulting in him getting violently attacked by them. After meeting Nam Kong, played by Leung, they form a bond between one another to help each out other during the British colonial rule.
And this began their tumultuous relationship lasting over forty years.
While the performances and production is terrific, the film suffers greatly from not truly developing any of the characters. It focuses on trying to get decades worth of information rather than focusing on its main characters. The film feels long. And it feels convoluted as it constantly flashes back and forth between the past, the present and the future, introducing new characters without warning and then in a flash they disappear and are never mentioned again. It lacks focus and in the end it doesn’t amount to anything, just like how the wind blows.