Dodging bullets and bad metaphorsThe film “Daisy” is a good example of a film in which you can be satisfied to the exact degree of your expectations.
That means those who came in to it with very low expectations, however, will also not be disappointed.
Some films are pretty good at fooling their audiences.
For “Daisy,” the fact that film’s gunfire-perforated scenes are set amid the beautiful Gothic architecture of Amsterdam might explain why the movie is so good at making audiences think it’s more than just a typical gangster film, when it clearly is. Here are two Korean heartthrobs ― Jeon Ji-hyeon and Jeong Woo-seong ― fluttering their trench coats, or in Jeon’s case long skirts, on screen.
Yet from beginning to end, a certain sense of confidence overwhelms this film, which throws the audience into a state of doubt. Do you dare continue to cling to your meek expectations?
The film starts out with a plot that’s so overtly cliched that viewers must wonder when the real plot will come along. The movie starts with an unknown pot of daisies left at the doors of Hye-young (Jeon Ji-yeon), a street artist who doesn’t seem to mind wearing long dresses everyday while she draws portraits of people. (The film explains that the “daisy” suggests a “hidden love,” in some kind of flower language.)
Then one day, Jeong-woo (Lee Seong-jae) shows up. Hye-young automatically assumes that he is the man who had been secretly sending her flowers. But actually, he’s an Interpol officer who just happens to be sitting behind her easel in the city’s central square in order to hide from the criminal he’s been tracking.
As it turns out, the man behind the secret delivery of flowers is a neurotic killer named Park Ui (Jeong Woo-seong), who works for the Chinese mafia and is infatuated with the artist.
“Daisy” is an ambitious pan-Asian project between Hong Kong and Korea, utilizing a Chinese director, Andrew Lau ― a director of “Infernal Affairs” and “Bullets of Love” ― as well as Dutch and Hong Kong crews mixed with some of the hottest Asian stars. It’s a global film project, something the local film industry increasingly tries to pull off. Unfortunately, like many failed examples of co-productions from the past, the film is a two-hour music video.
While we realize by now that it’s an incredibly hard task to please an audience with an obvious plot, “Daisy” is still disapointing, because it doesn’t seem to make any effort to claim any sort of visible experiments, relying extensively on the film’s facade.
As a result, the film’s stylish gestures pose nothing more than a superficial mis-en-scene aesthetic sprinkled with money. Even that becomes stale, as tasteless cliches like a “black tulip” as a symbol of death and a baritone voice-over by Park Ui, saying phrases like “to a killer, leaving any trace means death” when he’s just passed a surveillance camera.
For some reason, this is more like a film that recycles an old theme straight out of the Hong Kong gangster flicks from the ’80s, only this time with dreadful metaphors of flowers to ruin the charms of a classic action film.
Directed by Andrew Lau
Starring Jeon Ji-yeon, Lee Seong-jae, Jeong Woo-seong
Running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Action/ Drama
by Park Soo-mee
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