4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Tour De Force Performance from Andy Lau,
This review is from: Protégé [DVD] (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. A lot of credit for extracting a fabulous performance from Lau and presenting a good climax. One thing he fails in doing is making the film unpredictable though.
It's a different kind of crime-drama with a hint of action and violence. Overall a worthwile movie that has a thought provoking message.
For me the show-stealer is not the Protégé but the Mentor, Andy Lau.