- 1 hr 41 min
The movie Election, directed by Johnnie To, is a gritty and intense crime thriller set in the seedy underworld of Hong Kong's triad gangs. The story centers around the election of a new chairman for the Wo Sing Society, one of the most powerful triads in the city. The current chairman, Lok (Simon Yam), is expected to step down and allow his chosen successor to take over. But when two rival candidates emerge, tensions escalate and a violent battle for power ensues. On one side is the conservative Big D (Tony Leung Ka Fai), who favors tradition and stability. On the other is the aggressive and ambitious Lok's protÃ©gÃ©, Jimmy (Louis Koo), who wants to modernize the triad and expand its influence. The election is facilitated by a complex set of rules and rituals, overseen by the triad's elders and advisors. Each candidate must navigate a maze of alliances, betrayals, and deadly challenges to win the support of the other members. Along the way, they enlist ruthless enforcers and engage in brutal acts of violence to eliminate their opponents and ensure victory. As the election draws to a close, both men resort to increasingly desperate methods to secure their positions. Big D relies on his family ties and long-standing relationships with other triads, while Jimmy employs his cunning and ruthlessness to gain an edge. The stakes are high, and neither candidate is willing to back down or compromise. Meanwhile, a parallel story unfolds involving a low-level gangster named Jet (Suet Lam), who becomes embroiled in the election when he accidentally steals a ballot box. His efforts to return it to the triad leaders quickly spiral out of control, and he finds himself on the run from both the Wo Sing Society and the police. The movie's raw and gritty tone is matched by its stunning cinematography and meticulous attention to detail. The action sequences are tense and visceral, and the character development is nuanced and complex. The performances by the lead actors are all outstanding, with Koo and Leung in particular delivering powerful and nuanced portrayals of their characters' conflicting motivations and loyalties. Overall, Election is a gripping and masterful crime thriller that explores the murky world of triad politics with unflinching realism and depth. Its themes of power, loyalty, and betrayal resonate long after the credits roll, leaving viewers with a haunting and thought-provoking experience.