Mr. Long (SABU, 2017): Germany

Reviewed by Cyrus Davar at the AFI Filmfest 2017

Mr. Long who follows the story of a professional hitman named long who takes an assignment in Japan. When things don’t go as planned, long has no choice but to flee. Hiding out in a deserted part of the city, he befriends a young boy snd his mother who is a prostitute and drug addict. Showing the loving relationship between a young boy and man that will soon change the heart of a hitman. The  dialogue being both in Mandarin and Japanese. The film shifts so continually and so unpredictably  that it’s very hard for viewers to stay invested in the fiction, as well as in the characters. The camerawork is quite varied in style, and is especially sleek at the beginning where it has a bit of a metallic futuristic tone to it. With such a magnificent score tailored by Junichi Matsumoto, it makes the film that much more aesthetically pleasing. The minimal dialogue throughout the film gives each viewer his own responsibility when dealing with interpretations of such content that leaves the audience at the edge of their seat. Not having the meaning behind each image seen leaves you putting the pieces to the puzzle together for your interpretation, but remember that not every meaning is the same for message for each person, with a story like Mr. Long it portrays the ups and down of the voyage that Mr. Longs Heart goes through when dealing with certain subject matters, For instance, prostitution, drug addiction, poverty, Love/care/support, guidance through example etc. Mr. Long captured man subject matters that aren’t touch on enough through foreign cinema with a splash of comedy being implemented into the story leaves the audience not knowing what awaits at the end of Mr. Longs journey. The cinematography was so well crafted especially in the beginning of the picture with the use of time-lapse, wides, and close ups as the title sequence was rolling in order to establish the setting. Towards the midst of the film we transitioned to slower, more hand-held shots that gave the audience a more calm feeling that might have positioned them right in Mr. Long shoes. Everyone should see this film because the meanings are well sought out and should have an impactful effect on all moviegoers.

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