Movie Review: The Witness

On the flight back from Singapore I caught a (relatively) new Chinese movie, 《我是证人》, known in English as The Witness. The plot: the protagonist, Lu Xiaoxing, is a police academy dropout who realizes she was present during a kidnapping. The twist(s): She dropped out because she was blind, and she’s blind because she was in a car crash, and her brother died in the crash.

Oh, and well-known singer/dancer/celebrity Lu Han (formerly of EXO) is in it too, if you’re into that.

I can’t say the movie was particularly deep or life-changing, but it is a perfectly good mix of characters and events, and I did enjoy it. The antagonist isn’t any different from what you’d see on a crime show like Castle or Bones, but that’s fine too. (Although the final confrontation does get a little ridiculous.) And I liked some of the effects they used to show Lu’s world without sight.

So if you like those kinds of detective shows—and speak Mandarin, or don’t mind subtitles—you’d probably enjoy The Witness. Although it turns out it’s actually based on a Korean movie called Blind, which online reviews say is better. Maybe you should watch that instead.

P.S. Lead actor Yang Mi has the best name. From Wikipedia:

She was given [the] name “幂” (exponentiation) because her parents are both surnamed Yang.

It was a long flight, so I also watched another movie, The Phone. This one’s South Korean, and it was pretty much just a rehash of the American movie Frequency. Watch that instead.

(Do watch Frequency; it’s a time-loop thriller. A bit contrived, perhaps, but in my memory it’s still one of my favorite movies. I haven’t watched it recently, but if you liked Looper you’d probably like Frequency.)