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Protégé [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Andy Lau, Daniel Wu, Louis Koo, Zhang Jing Chu and Anita Yuen
  • Directors: Derek Yee
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Cantonese Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Liberation Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Sep 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018A30CG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,520 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Protégé is everything you want to know about drugs, but never knew. The film tells of a well-intentioned narcotics agent, Nick (Daniel Wu) deep undercover in the heart of Hong Kong s lucrative heroin trade. He is forced to deal with the hypocrisy and despair in a life of drugs and crime, as he plays protégé to one of the key players of the game, Banker (Andy Lau). In the eight years he has been infiltrating the heroin industry Nick has amassed enough evidence to indict Banker, but has just received orders to remain undercover in an attempt to expose the identity of the man behind Banker in order to bring down the entire organisation. However as Nick becomes more embroiled with Banker s craft and is increasingly entrusted with his confidences, he finds himself corrupted by the easy money and new found power. Unable to separate himself from his undercover persona, he immerses himself into his role as a drug trafficker. Nick meets Jane (Zhang Jing Chu), a single mother living in poverty who has fallen prey to the dangerous narcotics that has also claimed her estranged husband (Louis Koo). Her brief affair with Nick, gives her a new hope for life, an escape from the past, but the re-emergence of her husband brings with it dire consequences. In the seedy underbelly of heroin culture, where every redemption comes at a price and the borders of justice, loyalties and truth are permeable; Nick will have to grapple with some dangerous choices and may find himself flirting with more than the devil.


Tough, Tense and Authentic --Empire Magazine

Protégé is never less than surprising --Film Review

A totally invigorating drama --Impact Magazine

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mitun on 25 May 2011
Format: DVD
'Protégé' is a Hong Kong crime-drama that released in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim and box-office success. The movie earned 15 nominations at the 27th Hong Kong Film Awards winning the best supporting actor award for Andy Lau and the best editing award.

The film centres around Nick (Daniel Wu) who is an undercover Officer working as a the Protégé of a leading druglord, Lam Kwan (Andy Lau). The film shows how he tries to infiltrate Kwan and his drugs suppliers.

The feature is most of the time slow but harrowing and gritty. It deals with serious issues including drug addiction and the drugs supply market, which is spread all over the world. It's a compelling watch and disturbing as to to what extent drugs affects everyone involved from the supplier to the user.

The highlight for me in the movie was the brilliant portrayal of the Protégé-Mentor relationship between Wu and Lau, which is really engaging. The intense relationship consists of respect, loyalty, trust and betrayal. As the story unfolds we get to see how both actors evolve as their fate nears, it's gripping.

Andy Lau is magnificent as the ailing druglord. His restrained performance especially towards the end is haunting and emotional. What a performance. Don't know why he didn't get the best actor award as opposed to the best supporting award. Daniel Wu performs well but not as strongly as you'd expect. His performance seems weak when compared with Lau's. Louis Koo overacts in a small role. Zhang Jingchu as Jane (Pang Yuk-Fun) acts convincingly as the struggling drug addict. You feel sorry for her.

The direction provided by Derek Yee is gritty and grim capturing the theme of the feature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Nov 2010
Format: DVD
Derek Yee/Tung-Shing Yee's Protégé is a convincingly low-key Hong Kong thriller that takes a more realistic look at the drug trade than you usually find in the genre. Andy Lau's drug dealer isn't an Armani-clad kingpin in a palatial mansion in the best part of the island but an ailing middle-class diabetic with convincing family problems who wants to pass on the business to Daniel Wu's trusted transport co-ordinator, unaware that Wu is an undercover cop. It's not a huge operation - Wu lives in a rundown apartment on his cut while Lau doesn't spend or enjoy himself conspicuously on his home turf to avoid attracting attention - more an ongoing business with a heavy turnover but a shrinking profit margin and a high risk of a 20-30 year sentence if caught, and the details convince. So does the morality and denial. In one outstanding scene that's one of the finest things he's ever done as an actor, Lau defensively and almost panic-stricken spews out his hatred for junkies while denying any responsibility for their problems: it's nothing to do with him, it's their choice, their weakness. He's not the one getting them hooked, just a distributor obeying the law of supply and demand. He's no different than the junkie next door neighbour that Wu gets involved with who is in her own state of panic-stricken denial.

Taking in all aspects of drug production, distribution and addiction without straining for the kind of epic but sporadically unfocussed canvas that Traffic sought, it does unfortunately turn into a bit of a lecture on the shrinking drug trade in the region once it reaches Thailand, but even then there are neat touches like local warlords using UN reports on the global drug trade as market research on international prices.
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By alex david younger on 8 May 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this film is quite old, I still enjoyed it because it is so good, it's well made and I received it in good condition
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 27 Dec 2011
Format: DVD
This is a compelling foreign-language thriller which paints a painfully bleak and believable picture of the life of a long-term undercover cop, eaten away by the isolation of his life as a rising lieutenant in the drugs trade. The story is a familiar one; the hero's fragmentation into moral ambiguity as he gains credibility in the eyes of his criminal mentor but it is executed with near-perfect precision. We were gripped - horrified and fascinated -- all the way through.

Some of the filming is brutally beautiful; a slightly surreal time-delay sweep of the city skyline is bluntly contrasted with the sordid, pitiful life of a heroin junkie who attaches herself to the hero. `Protégé' doesn't flinch from portraying the awful effects of heroin addiction. It highlights the misery of the gutter - a child starving, her mother begging, the dishonesty in every relationship - with the matter-of-fact, business-like approach of the crime-lord who appears to lead a more wholesome family life than anyone else in the movie (including the notional `good guys').
Throughout `Protégé', the violence is delivered with bone-cracking force and the action is fundamental to the story and the progression of the plot. The police are inept and corrupt, navigating through a backdrop of criminal chaos and confusion. At the core, the hero attempts to retain his righteousness despite repeatedly being forced to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. In the final scenes we see him slipping towards to abyss; balanced between salvation and degradation, with a tiny thread securing his sanity when he has lost touch with most of the things which kept him human.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant 26 Jun 2007
By Kung Fu Junkie - Published on
As I tell you about this movie, I'm not going to reveal a bit of detail. I watched this film without knowing a thing about what was going to unfold and I'll let you share that experience.

This film is amazing. It is both deep and accessible. Every performance is moving and real and complex. Even the bad guys in this movie aren't given the stereotypical bad guy characteristics of being brutal or careless. Every player in this piece has demons and hopes. The journey the director takes you on is eye-opening and entertaining. "Protege" is on par with, maybe even better than, "Traffic".

After watching this movie, I felt the same as when I first watched "Infernal Affairs" about 4 years ago, that this is a beautiful jewel of modern HK cinema and I was glad to have discovered it before somebody from Hollywood adapts it for American audiences. (Though I really did respect and enjoy "The Departed", the movie that borrowed from "Infernal Affairs".)
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