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The Great Hypnotist (2014) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

Karen Mok (Actor) | Xu Zheng (Actor) | Hu Jing (Actor) | Wang Yao Qing (Actor)
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The Great Hypnotist (2014) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

What kind of secrets can a person's subconscious hide? Director Leste Chen (Say Yes) poses this question in thriller-mystery The Great Hypnotist. Master hypnotist Xu Ruining (Xu Zheng, Lost in Thailand) is asked by a psychiatrist colleague to try to help Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok, Mr. Cinema), a troubled woman who claims she can see the dead. With a snap of the finger, Xiaoyan enters a state of hypnosis in Ruining's office, but as the session goes on, Ruining slowly begins to lose himself inside Xiaoyan's mind...
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Technical Information

Product Title: The Great Hypnotist (2014) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) 催眠大師 (2014) (VCD) (香港版) 催眠大师 (2014) (VCD) (香港版) 催眠大師 (2014) (VCD) (香港版) The Great Hypnotist (2014) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Karen Mok (Actor) | Xu Zheng (Actor) | Hu Jing (Actor) | Wang Yao Qing (Actor) | Lu Zhong (Actor) | Yang Kai Di (Actor) | Guan Le (Actor) 莫文蔚 (Actor) | 徐崢 (Actor) | 胡靜 (Actor) | 王耀慶 (Actor) | 呂中 (Actor) | 楊 凱迪 (Actor) | 管樂 (Actor) 莫文蔚 (Actor) | 徐峥 (Actor) | 胡静 (Actor) | 王耀庆 (Actor) | 吕中 (Actor) | 杨 凯迪 (Actor) | 管乐 (Actor) 莫文蔚(カレン・モク) (Actor) | Xu Zheng (Actor) | Hu Jing (Actor) | Wang Yao Qing (Actor) | Lyu Zhong (Actor) | Yang Kai Di (Actor) | Guan Le (Actor) Karen Mok (Actor) | Xu Zheng (Actor) | Hu Jing (Actor) | Wang Yao Qing (Actor) | Lyu Zhong (Actor) | Yang Kai Di (Actor) | Guan Le (Actor)
Director: Leste Chen 陳正道 陈正道 陳正道(レスト・チェン) Leste Chen
Release Date: 2015-02-13
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: China
Disc Format(s): VCD
Duration: 102 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1038295462

Product Information

Xu Ruining (Xu Zheng), a nationally renowned hypnotherapist is incredibly skilled in hypnotherapy. But when his career takes off, he meets a patient named Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok) who brings him a complex problem.

Xu Ruining discovers that with this particular case, the struggle between the doctor and the patient isn’t as easy as he’d expected. Despite her thin and weak appearance, Ren Xiaoyan always reacts ciolently to any problems with Xu Ruining. He wonders what exactly makes her closed-off to everyone. Is it from a painful memory in her childhood or the ring mark still visible on her middle finger? While sparing no efforts to figure out what has happened, he finds himself falling into a horrible trap…
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Great Hypnotist (2014) (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

February 27, 2015

This professional review refers to The Great Hypnotist (2014) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
China box office force Xu Zheng takes on the title role in The Great Hypnotist, an intriguing and understandably flawed thriller from director Leste Chen (Say Yes, Eternal Summer). The spear-bald thespian stars as Dr. Xu Ruining (which is pronounced "Rui-Ning" and is not a synonym for "to make worse"), an arrogant psychiatrist whose practice involves the controversial use of hypnotherapy. Ruining takes on mysterious patient Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok), who was abandoned by her parents and claims to be seeing ghosts. Just like SAPPRFT, Ruining does not believe in ghosts, and decides to subject Xiaoyan to one of his hypnotherapy sessions. However, Ruining receives a shock when he finds himself inserted into one of Xiaoyan's dreams, and even awakens in a cold sweat only to find Xiaoyan observing him like he's the patient and she's the doctor. Is Xiaoyan seeing ghosts or is she just fooling herself? What's Ruining so nervous about and why is he so afraid of his overflowing sink? And just who's treating who here?

The Great Hypnotist seems like it could be a psychological horror film, but true to SAPPRFT guidelines, that's just not possible. To their credit, Leste Chen and company do a fine job of removing the need for the supernatural. The premise lends itself to plenty of misdirection and hidden motives, and the script proves surprisingly clever. Karen Mok makes a fine foil to Xu Zheng's borderline insufferable Ruining, and possesses a strong and believable intelligence. Unfortunately, Xu Zheng overplays the arrogance and becomes unlikable – and given the film's ultimate twists and turns, we need to like him. Xu is great as pathetic jerks who become unlikely heroes (No Man's Land, Lost in Thailand), but Great Hypnotist requires a performance with more subtle nuance. Still, the dynamic between the two actors is solidly developed, with reversals and twists that keep tension strong. Production values and music are unsubtle but appropriate for commercial work. Leste Chen knows how to make a polished film.

Action in the film is confined as it only leaves Ruining's noirishly-decorated office/townhouse for dreams or flashbacks. At times, Great Hypnotist feels more like a stage play than a film, but the limited mise-en-scène keeps things tight and claustrophobic. However, a crucial plot turn sends The Great Hypnotist careening towards mediocrity. The film trends toward darkness – which seems appropriate for the subject matter (ghosts, tragedies) and character types (arrogant doctors, femme fatales) – only to disappointingly back away at the climax. Also, while everything is fully explained, the filmmakers employ a fifteen-minute flashback-packed reveal that answers everything too neatly and conveniently. For a good while, Great Hypnotist seems to be asking audiences to think, and then it goes and does all the thinking for them. This is a film that could have been so much more, but for reasons that have long become moot for Chinese cinema, it ends up as less. The Great Hypnotist is still entertaining for the majority of its running time, so we should consider it a win. Just not a decisive one.

by Kozo -

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