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Movie Review

Ab-normal Beauty (18)

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1 of 1 Style over substance
Style over substance

Directed by Oxide Pang, starring Race Wong, Rosanne Wong, Michelle Mee, Anson Leung and Ekin Cheng.

When photography student Jin (Race Wong) witnesses a fatal car accident, her work and mind descend into darkness. Now obsessed with blood and death, Jin's photographs become a conduit for the repressed memories of her own traumatic childhood. Her pal Jiney (Wong) and classmate Anson (Leung) are deeply worried, but someone else has taken a far more evil interest in Jin's work...

Long since masters of stylish filmmaking, director Oxide Pang and producer brother Danny's latest shows that for all their excellent visual flourishes, they've plenty of work to do on characterisation and plot development. 'Ab-normal Beauty' starts off as a psychological exploration of madness and anger but, having exhausted that storyline after an hour, then does a 360 turn and becomes a slasher flick.

With the first hour so plodding that it feels like you're watching the story in slow motion, Pang then crams what's essentially another film into the last half-hour - and any goodwill you had towards him goes out the window.

The Pang brothers could make fantastic music videos but with its dodgy subtitles, bland characters and ridiculous finale, 'Ab-normal Beauty' (wrongly) suggests that anything with a more complex narrative could be beyond them.

Harry Guerin

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