Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dumplings (2004)

Guess I was wrong about Three... Extremes being useless. The short version of Fruit Chan's film included in that omnibus seemed a bit abbreviated -- just as it looked ready to really cut loose, the timer ran out. The full-length version, one would think, would solve that problem. Alas, the only thing that got added to the full-length was dead air. The extra half-hour doesn't help the film at all; instead of fleshing out the story, Chan merely extends it, killing the pacing in the process. What once seemed elegant in its transgressive creepiness now feels vaguely ho-hum. Also, for whatever reason, Chan decided that, with the full-length treatment, it was no longer necessary to obscure the nature of the secret ingredient. What was mysterious in the short version is patently obvious here. This lack of secrecy about the big secret robs the film of a lot of its punch and makes Miriam Yeung's reaction to her discovery a tad bit naive. It's still well-made, but the short version's better.

Grade: C+


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