Infernal Affairs, directed by Andre Lau and Alan Mak is a Hong Kong Action film of a police man who infiltrated a triad. On the filpside, a triad member has infiltrated the police.This film has won the Best Film title and seven other awards during the 22nd Hong Kong Film awards, beating Hero1. In an interview, Alan Mak shared that Infernal Affairs was inspired by a movie he watched in 1998: Face/Off.
Throughout Internal Affairs, I was kept at the edge of my seat, my heart beating fast, and I even had my hands held close together to my chest, anticipating what would happen next (and all the graphic scenes, my heart could not take it..)! I had even told my friends that I found Infernal Affairs more frightening than The Maid!
Christopher Dolye was the cinematographer for this film (he also worked on Hero!), who aided with the colours and visual tones. The colours in this film were mostly cool toned, green and blue, and they also contrasted very well with the skin tones of the people in the film.
I found that there was a difference in the ending of the film, as with the Hong Kong version, and the one distributed to China:
Original Hong Kong version (includes rather graphic scenes):
Ending scene for China’s theaters (includes rather graphic scenes):
The reason for the difference in endings is because China wanted Lau (the triad member acting as the policeman) to be punished for his illegal activities.
I found some of the scenes to be very graphic (all the blood and gunshot wounds), having to cover my mouth in disgust and shock… And well, this scene here just broke my heart and made my eyes water:
One of the main thoughts I had after watching this film was the question of identity.
Is your identity really based on your ID?
In the society shown in this film, the characters have to prove to others who they are through the use of identity cards/ documents. For example, in the last scene after Lau has shot the other mole-cop in the lift, he exits the lift with his arms up and holding his police identification card. Also in another scene, Lau could simply delete Yan’s police profile in the database and he will not be recognised as a police officer anymore.
It is interesting that in the film, the characters must be able to read and communicate through different codes to outdo the other team (be it police or triad). Sometimes, only technology is not enough, as they had to revert to Morse code to share critical information, and even for an important password.
Something to think about:
What defines you? Is it your current situation, your actions/ past actions, your identification documents, or the thoughts you have in your heart?
1^ “List of Awardees of The 22nd Hong Kong Film Awards”. Hong Kong Film Awards. Retrieved 27 May 2017.