Friday, November 07, 2014

Sean Kelly

Reel Asian 2014: The Midnight After

MidnightAfter

From Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan (Three… Extremes) comes the darkly comic thriller The Midnight After.  Late one night, a bunch of strangers, including Yau Tsi-chi (Wong You-nam), Yuki (Janice Man), Uncle Fat (Simon Yam), and Shun (Chui Tien-you), boards a minibus heading to the Hong Kong district of Tai Po.  By the time they arrive at their destination, these 17 individuals discover that they are the only ones around.  Uncle Fat takes leadership of the group, who gather together in a restaurant to try and piece together what is happening.

Featuring everything from horrific sequences to comedic musical numbers, one thing that’s for certain about The Midnight After is that it’s a pretty unusual film.  At its core, the film is about this group of people, who are apparently the soul survivors of some mysterious pandemic.  It is never fully explained what happened in Tai Po, though there are hints given, including sightings of a group of men in black hazmat suits and gasmasks.  Each of the characters have their own interesting backstory, such as Uncle Fat being an ex-football player and gangster and Mook Sau-ying (Kara Hui), who is an insurance broker moonlighting as a crazed mystic.

It’s hard to gauge what type of tone The Midnight After is going for, since one second the film has characters getting infected and dying in sudden and gory ways, while the next second there is a full on sing-a-long of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  While the film is mostly played for laughs, the film gets pretty dark towards the end, as the group copes with a pretty atrocious act.  While it remains pretty ambiguous about what exactly happened to these individuals, The Midnight After is an interesting, and often entertaining, film.

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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).