Confession of Pain

Confession of Pain (literally Forlorn City) is a 2006 Hong Kong crime/drama film directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, and starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Shu Qi and Xu Jinglei.

Plot Summary

Detective Hei (Leung), a good-hearted veteran police chief and his partner Bong (Kaneshiro) busted a rapist in 2003. When Bong returned home after the bust, he found his pregnant girlfriend had committed suicide. From then on, Bong became an alcoholic and turned in his badge to work as a private investigator. He was also obsessed with trying to find out why his girlfriend committed suicide.

Three years later, Bong discovered that on the night of his girlfriend's suicide; she had been waiting at a bar for her secret lover, who wound up unconscious after a car accident on the same night. Bong originally thought that he would be angry at his girlfriend's lover, but he ended up taking care of the comatose lover while he laid in hospital. Bong eventually moved on and fell in love with a girl who sells beer at the same bar, Feng (Shu Qi).

Hei married Susan (Xu Jinlei), daughter of billionaire Chau. Hei and two accomplices (two lowlifes) broke into Chau's home to rob and kill Chau and his butler Man. Later Hei killed his accomplices making it look like they killed each other in a dispute over the loot. Susan wasn't convinced about the two killers being alone, so she hired Hei's friend Bong to investigate further. As Bong got closer and closer to the truth, the story got more and more complicated. Ultimately, Bong discovered Hei murdered Chau for revenge. Chau had killed Hei's family when he was a boy living in Macau. Hei then took on a new identity. Hei also tried to kill his wife Susan to get her 300 million dollar inheritance, but she survived the attempt and went into a coma.

Although Hei's plan seemed flawless, he didn't account for himself falling passionately in love with Susan. When he visited Susan in hospital, he mentally confesses. Hei then realized that in his desire for vengeance for his family, he destroyed the new family that he created with Susan, leading to more pain and anguish for himself.



Critical Reception

Critics' review of the movie was mixed. Most critics positively reviewed the performances by Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro, but criticized the plot for the lack of suspense because it revealed prematurely the identity of the murderer.

Box Office

Confession of Pain opened in Hong Kong in the same week as Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower starring Chow Yun-Fat and was beaten on the opening day, but was still able to generate box office revenues of HK$3 million on opening weekend.


Confession was nominated for seven awards in the 26th Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Screenplay (Alan Mak, Felix Chong), Best Actor (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), Best Cinematography (Andrew Lau, Lai Yiu Fai), Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume and Make-Up Design, and Best Original Film Score (Chan Kwong-Wing). However, it only won one award for Best Cinematography.


Confession of Pain was released in theatres in Hong Kong on December 21, 2006. The 2-disc DVD edition, 2-disc DVD special edition (with postcard book) and VCD edition were all released in Hong Kong on February 14, 2007. The DVD editions feature audio in DTS-ES and a second disc featuring a documentary of the making of the movie, photo galleries and other bonus features. The Japanese release rights went to Avex Trax, with the title "Kizudarake no Otokotachi" (傷だらけの男たち), which roughly translates as "Heavily Scarred Men".


A Hollywood remake of Confession of Pain was announced by Warner Bros., who bought the rights of the film. Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, is producing the film alongside Roy Lee, who brokered the remake deals on Asian movies from The Ring to Infernal Affairs. At the moment, however, it isn't yet known if DiCaprio, who also starred in the Hollywood remake of Infernal Affairs (another Lau/Mak film), The Departed, will also star in the film. William Monahan, who won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Departed, will work on the script.


Ayumi Hamasaki performed the theme song Secret, which appears in the international version of the movie. The Mandarin theme song in the Chinese version of the movie, Secret of a Forlorn City (傷城秘密), was performed by Denise Ho.



External links

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