Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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. Read more ›
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