Exiled | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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This 2006 Hong Kong-produced gangster film by director Johnnie To, set in Macao, is an entertaining product that presents a powerful artistic vision. The action begins when two gangsters try to execute a former colleague, Wo; two others try to save him. After a shoot-out at his apartment where no one's killed, all five sit down to a convivial dinner, planning a robbery to help provide for Wo's family after the two assassins kill him. Throughout the film the characters, caught in the triad's tentacles, seem almost interchangeable, their individuality lost in the narrative's labyrinthine shifts. But the nihilism of their lives is countered by brief moments of emotion and visual poetry, which make the destruction and loss all the more poignant. In Cantonese with subtitles. 110 min. Reviewed this week in Section 1. a Music Box. --Fred Camper

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