Notable Cast: Fan Liao, Lun Mei Gwei, Xuebing Wang, Jingchun Wang, Ailei Yu
Black Coal, Thin Ice received a fair share of awards and nominations from various film festivals and award shows. This brings certain high expectations of the film that can be hard to obtain. Luckily, Black Coal, Thin Ice lives up to most of those high expectations with its artful approach to the modern noir style film. It’s not a film for everyone with its intensely drab approach to its subject matter and less than forthcoming script about details, but it’s executed in such a transfixing way that it left a fairly impressive impact on me. An impact that lingers long after the credits have finished rolling at the end.
Zhang Zili (Fan Liao) was forced to retire after an incident left him seriously injured and a few fellow police offers dead. He was investigating a series of dismembered body parts found in various coal facilities when the incident occurred. Five years later though, another series of murders comes to his attention that follow the same pattern…and this leads him to a mysterious woman (Lun Mei Gwei) who seems to have a shocking connection to the victims.
|One of the great examples of the simplicity of the set up for the visuals.|
|Once again, love the color combinations in this film.|
If there was an even bigger surprise than the general cold tone of the film, it’s the strange humor that seems to randomly pop up throughout. The film is cold and dispirited in its narrative, but there is a handful of hilariously dark scenes where the timing and strange breaks make for some great comedic efforts. Not that some of these are intentional or at least they won’t be funny for some, but it was a pleasant surprise overall to see some of the wicked effective humorous pieces that arose from such a dark and gritty flick.
|Ice, ice baby.|