Tuesday, December 12, 2006

movie review: Possessed 《缠身》

" Posters Note: I believe the top one is an international version. All posters (except for top, which is resulted from a random google search) and other still production photos were borrowed from the official site and sponsor site. "

Official site:
Sponsor site:

Possessed 《缠身》: The movie was released late November, but I did not have the time to watch it until now. I was not really hyped about this movie, however, I wanted to find out how this Kuching-made movie do after production.

Possessed is a co-production by Hock Star Entertainment (Sarawak), Beijing 3 Bros Films & Media Company (China) and Hong Kong investors. The movie is entirely filmed in Kuching, Sarawak. Directed by Bjarne Wong, Possessed is the second feature film produced in Sarawak, after The Legend of The Red Curse. I missed out on the first movie, as I was away from homeland.

Possessed features cast like Amber Chia, Harisu (Korea), Alan Yun, Steve Yap, Sharifah Amani, Manolet (Philippines) , Liu Yan Yan (China), and Smyth Wong.

Again, I wouldn't type the synopsis here, as you can read it from both their official site and sponsor site. I will just jump straight into the comments after the movie.

Kudos to Bjarne Wong and his whole cast and crew in filming the movie. It is never easy to get it done, especially with limited budget. As the whole movie is set entirely in Kuching, I will have the credits going to the director and crew, for making our humble city looking beautiful throughout the movie. They have done pretty good job in cinematography.

I missed probably about 10 minutes of the opening, but I believe that would do little to change my thoughts after the movie. For starter, I thought the whole plot was full of hole. The whole story didn't really come together, it was really weak. The plot kept on straying off from time to time. It's really irritating to watch a movie like that.

Editing needs a lot of improvement too. When one scene switches to another, they just don't connect. At times, I felt that there were advertorial elements included in between the film. This scene in particular:

If you had watched the movie, you would have known what I meant by this. Smyth Wong was more like advertising the drink for a commercial advert, I think I may have safe bet to say that they have drink sponsors. Else, that 10-15 seconds scene would have been a total waste of film.

Possessed had the script badly written, especially when Amber was hit by this scene:

Obviously, she was possessed by evil spirit, and even after she mopped the floor with her head.

The guys just stood there and asked Amber, "You okay? What happened? What were you
After then looked into each other among the guys, "What happened to her? What was she doing?"
Paused, and they just shrugged it off with, "I don't know."

How pathetic can the lines be? -_-|||

Possessed has flaw in their voice and sound effect. Actors/Actresses voices were dubbed all over again during post-production. Cantonese was used as the main language for the film. On that, I couldn't help but to think of my childhood kid drama, i.e. Ultraman, Black Riders, where the Japanese could amazingly speak fluent English, when their lips are moving differently. Imagine their lips moving inaudible of Ohayo Gozaimasu and their voice coming out was Selamat Pagi. You will get this when you watch Possessed, voice and lips don't match!

The whole language thing just bothers me too much. Amber conversed with Amani (of movie Sepet) in Cantonese! Amani was casted as Harisu's assistant, a non-chinese character - Fara, and she replied in English (with a thick American-wannabe accent). I doubt the dubbed voice could be Amani's.

I think you are quite lost up to this point. I'll just round the whole thing up. Overall, Possessed is a good attempt with limited budget. But, there are a long way more to go before sitting side by side with the elite. There had been good Malaysian production like Sepet. There is also well-known acclaimed director from Kuching - Tsai Ming-liang. In my opinion, Amani was the only solid performer in the movie. But, good effort to the rest of the cast.

I do hope they can blend experienced and young together so that the younger ones can picked up the skills through the learning curves.

" End Note: There was a scene that did not make it through Malaysian Censorship Board. It was rather a sexy scene where Amber and Harisu was fooling with Steve Yap, and it ended with Amber and Steve Yap, as well as Harisu in bed. Wild eh? "


Amy said...

yer, the posters look scary la wey!

allen said...

amy: poster looks scary.. but movie isn't really that scary. well, don't get me wrong. i don't mean the movie's not scary at all. just that needs improvement. :P

vernonia said...

LOL i couldn't agree more. You've done a great review. I find the movie hilarious. The only excitement is really just about guessing where the scene is since it's filmed in kuching.

allen said...

vernonia: hmm.. embarrassingly, i think i would have failed the guessing part :P lol.. i left out few points. but, won't be commenting it yet cos i dont know the exact figure involved.

wenLi said...

hey, just dropping by. I agree with ya, lotsa plot holes! I don't get the ending at all...>.<
So that scene didn't pass the censorship board! No wonder it felt so...incomplete.HAHA.

Irene said...

Eh.... where's the nipple show? You didn't mention it? Hahahha... I didn't notice it at all. They are very desperate in trying to promote Kuching and also trying too hard to promote that drink at Senso.

allen said...

wenli: hey.. thanks for dropping by =) yeah.. plot is really weak. like they say catch no ball. =P that scene, didn't passed censorship in the movie, but was shown in the trailer or the making.. i can't remember.. haha.. funny.

irene: hehe.. i left out that part in the write up ah. In fact, i left out a lot of points also. in case the others may be wondering, there was a suspected exposed-nipple by harisu in the early going when she was swimming around in the pool.

and yeah, they tried very very hard with the promotion, senso and Kuching.