Find Your Client And Find Yourself

Find Your Client And Find Yourself

Static Mass Rating: 1/5
Central Films 

Release date: 2nd May 2011
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 114 min

Country of origin: France
Year of production: 2008

Director: Tran Anh Hung
Writer: Tran Anh Hung

Cast: Josh Hartnett, Elias Koteas, Lee Byung-hun, Takuya Kimura, Shawn Yue, Trần Nữ Yên Khê

What first struck me about I Come with the Rain is that it’s an English language film taking place mostly in Hong Kong with most of the actors being Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese or Chinese – except for the lead actor, Josh Hartnett, who is conveniently American.

So right away, we have a pretty good idea about the target audience. However, marketing is an inevitable part of filmmaking so I kept an open mind and I was looking forward to watching a neo noir with Hartnett as a tormented private investigator. It was all downhill from there.

I Come With The Rain

Tran Anh Hung, an accomplished French director with Vietnamese ancestry, embarks on telling the story of Kline (Hartnett) who’s on a mission to find Shitao (Kimura), the missing son of a Chinese billionaire. Meanwhile he is fighting his own demons; the memories and nightmares of a serial killer who convinced him that murder can be an art form.

Although the story looks like it could have potential, it is told in a painfully frustrating way. The two hour long movie is full of scenes nobody would miss if they were taken out, but the hospital scenes with Kline, which are extensively used in the trailer, are hardly in the movie at all.

I Come With The Rain

These confessions scenes would give us insight into how Kline began to identify with the serial killer prior to leaving the force. When Hasford (Elias Koteas), speaks about the suffering of mankind being the most beautiful thing, we are to think it’s somehow meaningful, but instead I just rolled my eyes.

Argentine musician and film composer Gustavo Santaolalla along with Radiohead and many others contributed in creating the musical atmosphere for I Come with the Rain, but the music in comparison to the dialogue and sound effects is too loud, making certain lines hard to understand, if not completely inaudible. To make this even more awful, lyrics are sometimes sung at the same time the characters speak. So the music is great, but apart from the fact that it doesn’t work well with the scenes, there are also serious technical issues.

I Come With The Rain

What a brightly lit scene in the middle of the night is doing in a film noir, is beyond me. I don’t believe that movies should subscribe to genre conventions just for the sake of it but by all means, filmmakers should break the rules when they want to, yet the cinematography in I Come with the Rain is mostly mediocre and reminiscent of a student film. I fully realise that this film is not a big Hollywood production, but the $18 million budget is surely enough to properly light a scene!

To successfully make a complex story nearly incomprehensible, all you need to do is not link one sequence of events to another. I imagine that this was done as an attempt to give the film an abstract feel.

I Come With The Rain

The great thing about abstraction is that it appears to be random but when you look closer or take a step back, the thought becomes apparent. In other words, the abstraction has structure. Jumping from one scene to another in I Come with the Rain is done to the extreme. The longer I watched, the more I realized that there was no real point or structure to the sequence of events and flashbacks shown in that particular order.

The Christian iconography is used cleverly in some scenes and there are a few well composed shots as well. The ambition of the story is admirable and I can see how this film could have been the groundbraking neo noir it wants to be. Overall though, I Come With The Rain just doesn’t work but it’s not for the lack of trying.

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