A good man's evil secret
(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-10-26 08:30

After an eight-year break from his short film Criminal, six generation director Cheng Er returns with ambition and audacious vision to bring his film debut thriller Unfinished Girl. The story follows an ordinary insurance salesman He Wei (Xu Zheng), who murdered a couple when he was a young boy, because he was jealous of the couple's spacious house and the lady's gorgeous dresses. Years later, he is still haunted by the hatred, which drove him to marry one of the daughters of the couple, Xiao Feng (Tao Hong) who knows nothing about the plot. Years later, He and Xiao lead ordinary, if even a bit boring, lives, till one day Xiao's younger sister Xiao Ke (Gao Yuanyuan) is told who the murderer of her parents was. Then the psychological battle starts.

Young Chinese actress Gao Yunyuan's performance is the biggest surprise. Gao gives up her fresh and sweet neighborhood girl image as the forceful and suspicious Xiao. After her 12-minute monologue, the girl who is dying of brain disease loses control. She plans to kill He. When he admits it was him who murdered her parents, the setting is deadly quiet. Viewers may think the film ends here. But the climax is not reached until He confesses the regrets that have plagued him since his evil deed as boy, and have now nearly been wiped out by his wife and their coming baby. "I want to be a good man," said He. The director presents the contradiction between the respective good and evil aspects of the roles, and their struggle for resolution.

Chinese actor Xu Zheng, famous for his appearance in the black humor film Crazy Stone, also abandoned his usual comedy image to wear a wig as the good-and-evil man He. The old sister is played by his real life wife Tao Hong. The mysterious man who unveiled the secrets behind her parents murder to Xiao Ke is played by Yan Po.

Unfinished Girl has been invited to screen at the upcoming India Film Festival and to compete for the Best International Film Award at the festival.

Unfinished Girl is now playing.

                                                                            (China Daily 10/24/2007 page6)