Somehow, I just could not find the time to write this till now...
But firstly, I like to say that this is definitely a must-watch.
I truly, truly love the performance of the cast in Confession of Pain (傷城). Tony Leong (梁朝偉) showed natural acting skill as a complex character in a police chief Hei. Hei plots almost impeccably, the murder of an ex-drug lord who has massacred his whole family 30 years back. We have a much improved Takeshi Kaneshire (金城武, who I used to think was just a brooding, pretty boy) as Bong, Hei's ex-buddy in the force who becomes an alcoholic private detective after the suicide of his girlfriend.
(Warning: Plot spoiler ahead)
In the beginning, Hei recounts to his wife Susan (an impressive Xu Jinglei, 徐靜蕾), how no word escapes a sorrowful Bong's mouth for few years after the incident. Finally, Bong reflects: "It's actually frightening to find yourselves suddenly all alone after the passing of your loved ones..." These proved to be prophetic.
The Chinese title of the movie 傷城, can be loosely translated as "City of Sorrow". In this "City of Sorrow", Hei and Bong share the same sad experience of losing their loved ones, so it isn't so hard for Bong to understand what Hei has to do at all cost, including marrying the daughter of his enemy to get close to him. But who could have thought as Hei sees Susan lying on the hospital bed - severely burnt as a result of his setup - he realises that she is his only family. In the end, the pain of losing a loved one again is just too much for Hei to bear. I thought I could even sense Hei's heart bleeding such is the depth of his sorrow.
The scriptwriters of the Infernal Affairs' fame, Alan Mak and Felix Chong, wrote brilliantly again. On the surface, one would think this is another intense, psychological cat-and-mouse story. But they did not disappoint with a multi-layered script, as more importantly, 傷城 is also about relationship and family.