Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Taiwan, 2014. Arrow Film Production Co., B’in Music, Double Edge Entertainment, Jet Tone Production, Taipei Postproduction. Produced by Wolf Chen, Jacky Yee Wah Pang. Music by Tzu-Chieh Wen. Production Design by Jo-Yun Wu. Film Editing by Nyssa Li.
Three boys, two of them friends and the other a perpetual loner, discover the dead body of a female classmate while walking home from school, apparently the result of a suicide from her apartment balcony. They decide to team up and investigate her death, discovering clues that lead to the possibility that another classmate’s bullying was involved. As the situation progresses and more bad things begin to happen, the young men are confused by contradictory evidence, jumbled up even more by the influence of social media commentary that greatly affects the way that they and the victim are perceived by their peers. What could be a fun and involving caper, even without the deference due to the serious thematic issues that are being touched upon, is actually an exploitative exercise that can barely hide its shallow trashiness with the overly stylized visuals. Compare it with something like the masterful Poetry by Lee Chang-dong, which begins from a similar situation, and you have an even worse reminder that any story can be undone by a lack of sympathy from its storyteller.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2014