Sheep Without A Shepherd (Wu Sha)
Cert: PG Year: 2019 Length: 112 mins Language: Mandarin/Thai
Cinema Handout (PDF 122KB)
Score: 83.33% Attendance: 55
Watching the trailer for this film, there is no dialogue. Lots of intriguing shots interspersed around a man at a desk. Only in the final seconds do you hear a voice say "Tell me everything that happened"; I was already hooked. For lovers of crime thrillers with twisting plots, this first feature film from director Sam Quah is definitely for you.
Our antihero is movie-mad Li Weiji; a poor Chinese immigrant in Thailand who comes home one day to find his wife burying a body in the back garden. He decides to use the knowledge he has acquired watching endless police dramas to protect his family, but "Famously intuitive police chief La Wen (Joan Chen) has a gut feeling..." – Katie Rife, AV Club, who goes on to say "Chen is delightfully wicked as the morally compromised chief of a corrupt and abusive police department".
"You would think that a film about a film-obsessed character would go in a predictable route that an equally film-obsessed audience would see coming; however, that's not the case. You never know which move each player will make next. 'Sheep Without a Shepherd' is an exceptional ode to crime thrillers and cinema lovers, with the affecting relevance of how the roar of the victimized can topple their oppressors" – Sara Clements, AwardsWatch.
Do you think you can out-think Li Weiji as he tries to out-think the police…?
With a carefully constructed, multi-layered screenplay, great performances and some inspired directorial flourishes, Sheep Without a Shepherd is a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse with a wicked sense of humor and a genuinely surprising conclusion.
Brent Hankins, The Lamplight Review
Weijie namechecks Hitchcock and the grandmaster might have approved of the jaunty tone at work in this story of blackmail, death and deception: Danny Leigh, Financial Times
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