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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

"The Silent War 听风者" Movie Review

"The Silent War 听风者" Movie Review


"The Silent War" is adapted from the novel "Year Suan/Plot Against".  The story of the film is set in 1950s, where the China Republic Government has just been established. During that time, there is the presence of revolutionists in different parts of China seeking for the opportunity to revolt and create chaos. In order to intercept telegraphs which are related with rebel actions, the 701 Headquarters is formed. This 701 Headquarters is composed of Inspection, Interpretation and Operation departments. Chang Xue-ning (played by Zhou Xun) is a government agent who is being sent back to 701 Headquarters because her identity has been compromised. She was then assigned with a different task which is to seek for someone with good hearing ability. At first, she targets Luo San-er, a piano tuner. Eventually she has brought in Luo's personal assistant, He Bing (played by Tony Leung)  instead because she saw more potential in He Bing. Bing is a blind man with an awesome hearing ability.

What will He Bing do with his hearing ability to contribute to 701 Headquarters?

Listen out for the story in the cinema this coming Friday!


"The Silent War" is a nice and fresh movie. This movie has taken a different attempt in filming a spy-style movie whereby the main focus here is related with the Spy Radio Station, a.k.a Numbers Station as well as the Morse Code.  A good explanation of how Numbers Station works can be seen in this movie.  

The plot is nice with a good flow in storyline supported with good explanation for everything that is happening inside. Apart from the main plot which is related with 701 Headquarters, the movie has also done a pretty good job in tackling the elements of love in this movie. There’s no real relationship between the two main characters but there is a bond between them whereby both of them care for each other very much.

Apart from that, kudos to Tony Leung and Zhou Xun for showing their charms and good acting in this film. Tony Leung is indeed a veteran actor who is able to deliver the mood of his character convincingly to the audience. He is also able to create quite a lot of laughter for the audience via his funny way of speaking in this movie. Zhou Xun on the other hand has also done a very good job in portraying her character as a cool and calm person. Her interaction with Tony in this film is splendid. Her acting has also made her character feel so alive.

Despite the good acting by some veterans in this film, most of the other actors in this film are quite poor in their acting. For example, there’s this scene whereby the man is supposed to be crying. But his expression makes us feel like he is actually smiling.

Besides, the finale for the film seems a bit not as excited as I have thought it would be. There is not much direct confrontation between the main characters in this film with the villains. In fact, I feel like there is no main antagonist at all even though efforts can be seen that they are actually intending to make a group of villains to be the main antagonist. However, it is still acceptable because the main characters in this film are not the frontline but are the agents for the back-up Headquarters.
Anyway, there is also a surprise in this movie which has made us feel shocked. At that point, I wished that the surprise incident does not happen. But come to think of it, it is a must for it to happen in order to make the story progresses.

This is a very good movie with a fresh storyline.

What I like about the movie:
  1. New type of storyline.
  2. Well-written plot.
  3. Good acting of Tony Leung and Zhou Xun
  4. Quite an amount of humours present in this film
What I dislike about the movie:
  1. Less exciting finale
  2. Lack of a main antagonist
Overall, it is a very good Cantonese movie with a new and well-explained storyline.

It deserves a 7.0/10.0

It is a very good Cantonese movie for people who enjoy good stories!

However, this film has more focus on the people who are usually minor in other spy movies. Thus, some of you might find it boring if you guys expect the movie to be like infiltrating the base of the enemy, actions-filled and conspiracy-driven. Because none of those elements is present here .

1 comment:

  1. "The movie is nice. Tony Leung's acting was great. however, the story's development was partially predictable but there are also surprising events. Therefore, i'll give a 7.5/10 for this movie"
    quoted by Yen, a fellow movie reviewer for


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