Infernal Affairs

Year: 2002
Director: Wai Keung Lau
Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Leung
A hit in its native Hong Kong and for good reason (to the point where Martin Scorsese is tipped to direct an American remake, heralding another absorbtion by Hollywood of a regional filmmaking flavour in order to make more money knowing it's idea bank has no funds).

Two men lead virtually identical lives. One is a low key undercover cop who's infiltrated a criminal gang and has been on his case he almost forgets he's supposed to be one of the good guys. He reports back to his commanding officer, the only one who knows who he really is, on Hong Kong rooftops, giving the film one of its striking visual signatures.

The other is a decorated but corrupt cop who acts as a police mole in the same gang, and a eponymous game of cat and mouse ensues as both men and the cops and gang members who surround them graise dangerously close to each other while trying to keep their identities secret.

Both lead characters are made very human by their relationships with the women in their lives, the undercover man with a female psychiatrist and the police mole with his dedicated and pretty writer girlfriend, both of whom impact on the story.

A particular standout is superintendent Wong, a stalwart crimefighter who pays a terrible price to protect his man and the operation.

Something makes it a little hard to follow – maybe it's the story, maybe it's the inevitable language barrier, but it certainly deserves the accolades.

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