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Silent Witness (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Aaron Kwok (Actor) | Sun Hong Lei (Actor) | Deng Jia Jia (Actor) | Zhao Li Xin (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Offering a genre-bending, suspenseful and mesmerizing cinematic experience, new director Fei Xing's courtroom drama Silent Witness uses an engaging nonlinear approach to slowly but powerfully unveil the hidden truth behind a murder case while tackling essential Chinese ideologies and beliefs. Aaron Kwok stars as a prosecutor who goes head to head with a defense lawyer in a controversial court case involving a tycoon played by Sun Honglei. Silent Witness received Best Movie, Best Actor and Best Young Director at 2013's China Image Film Festival.

Tycoon Lin Tai's (Sun Honglei) celebrity fiancée is found dead in a parking lot and her daughter Lin Mengmeng (Deng Jiajia) is suspected of murder. Lin hires top-tier barrister Chao Li (Yu Nan) to defend for Mengmeng. Chaa Li ensures Lin a winning case with CCTV footage evidence showing an accident, but she's up against the equally eloquent prosecutor Tong Tao (Aaron Kwok). The two lawyers expose shocking secrets behind what seems to be a straightforward case.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Silent Witness (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 全民目擊 (2013) (DVD) (香港版) 全民目击 (2013) (DVD) (香港版) 全民目擊 (2013) (DVD) (香港版) Silent Witness (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Aaron Kwok (Actor) | Sun Hong Lei (Actor) | Deng Jia Jia (Actor) | Zhao Li Xin (Actor) | Tong Li Ya (Actor) | Yu Nan (Actor) | Chen Si Cheng (Actor) | Cica Zhou (Actor) 郭富城 (Actor) | 孫紅雷 (Actor) | 鄧 家佳 (Actor) | 趙立新 (Actor) | 佟 麗婭 (Actor) | 余男 (Actor) | 陳 思誠 (Actor) | 周韋彤 (Actor) 郭富城 (Actor) | 孙红雷 (Actor) | 邓 家佳 (Actor) | 赵立新 (Actor) | 佟 丽娅 (Actor) | 余男 (Actor) | 陈 思诚 (Actor) | 周韦彤 (Actor) 郭富城 (アーロン・コック) (Actor) | 孫紅雷 (スン・ホンレイ) (Actor) | Deng Jia Jia (Actor) | Zhao Li Xin (Actor) | 佟麗婭(トン・リーヤー ) (Actor) | 余男(ユー・ナン) (Actor) | Chen Si Cheng (Actor) | 周韋彤 (チョウ・ウェイトン, Cica) (Actor) 곽부성 (Actor) | Sun Hong Lei (Actor) | Deng Jia Jia (Actor) | Zhao Li Xin (Actor) | Tong Li Ya (Actor) | Yu Nan (Actor) | Chen Si Cheng (Actor) | Cica Zhou (Actor)
Director: Fei Xing 非行 非行 Fei Xing Fei Xing
Release Date: 2013-12-23
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIA
Duration: 115 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1034822700

Product Information

Director: Fei Xing

As a well-known tycoon, Lin Te’s (Sun Hong Lei) wedding day is approaching, he is suddenly shocked by the tragic death of his bride in an underground parking garage. Police have arrested a suspect, Lin’s daughter-Lin Mengmeng who becomes the defendant in the court. Lin spares no expense to hire a noted female lawyer, Zhou Li (Yu Nan) to defend his daughter against the allegations. The prosecution, Tong Tao (Aaron Kwok) is a shrewd lawyer with a talent for uncovering paper trails of fraud. Zhou and Tong will be starting a spirited dispute between prosecution and defense in the court. With the deepening of cross-examination of the witnesses and defendant, this unusual case is getting quite suspicious and throwing both lawyers into confusion….
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Silent Witness (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 29, 2014

Mainland legal thriller Silent Witness delivers the goods despite occasional – and also familiar – flaws. Aaron Kwok stars as Tong Tao, an intense prosecutor working on a sensational murder case. Lin Mengmeng (Deng Jiajia) is accused of murdering the cheating lover (Cica Zhou) of her father, financial entrepreneur Lin Tai (Sun Honglei), and Tong Tao would like nothing more than to stick it to Lin Tai by putting his beloved daughter away. For ten years, Tong Tao has attempted to indict Lin Tai for white collar wrongdoings, but Lin Tai has proven as slippery as he is successful. During the initial hearing, Tong Tao seems to have the upper hand, with all evidence swinging the prosecution’s way. However, when a key witness takes the stand, high-priced defense attorney Zhou Li (Yu Nan) quickly turns the tables. The win now seems assured for the defense, but Tong Tao suspects that Lin Tai may be using his formidable power to obstruct justice from behind the scenes.

Silent Witness opens with television news voiceovers introducing its main players like fighters in a WWE grudge match, but soon surpasses that cheesy intro with solid courtroom drama and clever storytelling. After witnessing the initial courtroom hearing that tips the case towards the defense, the film rewinds to take a closer look at Tong Tao, following his perspective as he witnesses Zhou Li's reversal in court. Tong Tao then receives an email tip from a pivotal "Silent Witness" to the murder, but after that revelation the film rewinds again…and then again, as both Zhou Li and Lin Tai get similar flashbacks and revealing focus. This non-linear storytelling was used previously by director Fei Xing in his Man Behind the Courtyard House, with the flashbacks adding unseen layers to the sympathetic madman played by Simon Yam. The Courtyard House flashbacks also offered new characters and tangential situations, creating an unfocused but also unexpectedly playful genre film.

Fei Xing refines and focuses this technique even further for Silent Witness. Rather than exploring one person as in Courtyard House, Fei performs the trick on multiple characters, frequently changing the narrative and audience expectations. Each flashback answers questions while also asking new ones, with some characters being revealed as far more than they initially seem. Indeed, Silent Witness is at its best when it’s adding depth to its characters and the actors perform their roles quite well. Aaron Kwok is the least impressive, always posing and gazing pretentiously, but he's not given much to do. Actually, the order in which each character is revealed – from Tong Tao to Zhou Li to Lin Tai – allows each actor to trump the previous one, with Yu Nan's intelligence and integrity proving more compelling than Aaron Kwok's patented intensity, and Sun Honglei eclipsing them both. Among the film's team of actors, Sun is easily the MVP, delivering a layered performance highlighted by remarkable underplaying.

The story and acting shore up the film’s weaker points, in particular the script, which becomes hammy and didactic. The narrative has clever turns, but the ultimate reasoning behind them is composed of generic themes and hackneyed emotions. The film also drags on a bit too long, seemingly climaxing again and again as it draws to its inevitable "justice must triumph" ending. The conveniences and contrivances stack up, and Fei Xing's direction isn't polished enough to cover up all the holes. Still, the story keeps the audience guessing for the majority of its running time, and the film proves so involving that the journey to the SAPPRFT-approved ending may seem like reward enough. As a commercial thriller, i.e., a movie that's aiming to satisfy an audience and not win artistic acclaim or geek cred, Silent Witness is solid stuff, and shows that thought, creativity and smarts may ultimately be the best tools for filmmakers to counteract the omnipresent content restrictions.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

Editor's Pick of "Silent Witness (2013) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Picked By Ivy Wong
See all this editor's picks


January 17, 2014

A defining legal drama for Chinese cinema
An unnerving and mesmerizing Chinese courtroom thriller at the top of its game, new director Fei Xing's Silent Witness offers so many twists and turns that audiences will find it hard to breathe. Reconstructing the story from multiple angles, Fei gradually and powerfully reveals the secrets behind a highly publicized murder case and has audiences scratching their heads till the very last moment of the 115 minutes of the film.

Prosecutor Tong Tao (Aaron Kwok, Christmas Rose) goes against top-tier lawyer Zhou Li (Yu Nan, Tuya's Marriage, The Expendables 2) in a court case revolving around the scandalous murder of tycoon Lin Te's (Sun Honglei, If You Are The One 2) celebrity girlfriend. With all evidence pointing to Lin Te's daughter Mengmeng (Deng Jiajia), the lawyers get increasingly confused and furious as more ugly evidence emerges that flips the proceedings upside down. The lawyers, as it turns out, are puppets of a mastermind who has been controlling the outcome of this court case with the sole goal of defending something that is more important than life itself.

Adopting an unconventional storytelling technique, Fei challenges audiences' rigid values and perceptions of what is right and what is wrong, with the ultimate goal of celebrating a father's unconditional love. Rendering tycoon Lin Te cunning, merciless, even guilty at the very beginning of the movie, Fei does not disclose the truth until after the final verdict is made, making it such a shocking discovery that can haunt audiences long after the movie. As unpredictable as the plot sounds, Fei is able to keep the story clean, focused and, on top of all, sensible, making him one of the most engaging storytellers that we have seen from China.

Apart from Fei's perfectly crafted script, Sun and Yu's performances are not to be underestimated. Handling such a complicated role with ease, Sun beats many of his contemporaries hollow with his acting. Yu's portrayal of a cool-headed barrister also spells sexy, charming and witty all at the same time. Full of suspense, schemes, grudges and fatherly love, Silent Witness is simply a genre rarity in China and one that will be tough to beat in the years to come.

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

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