Movie reviews: The Invisible Man, The Man Standing Next
THE INVISIBLE MAN (M18)
There is fear to be found in what people cannot see. This applies to invisible monsters, and in this case, the sexual harassment that women face.
A contemporary adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel of the same name and reboot of the 1930s The Invisible Man film series, writer-director Leigh Whannell's The Invisible Man is a nod to the #MeToo movement.
The horror kicks off when Cecilia's (Elisabeth Moss) abusive scientist former lover commits suicide and leaves her his fortune. What follows is a series of bizarre occurrences that cause her to suspect that his death is a hoax and he has been stalking her.
Moss (The Handmaid's Tale, Top Of The Lake) is superb and convincing as a woman suffering from psychological anguish.
Hints are dropped concerning Cecilia's increasingly hazy mental state, and a delicious tension arises from not knowing if the former lover is indeed alive, or if she has lost touch with reality.
However, the film's ending may leave you slightly confused.
THE MAN STANDING NEXT (NC16)
You will be kept on the edge of your seat throughout this South Korean historical suspense thriller, which depicts the complex web of emotions going through Kim Gyu-pyeong (Lee Byung-hun), the director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA).
It revolves around the intense power struggle between Kim and chief presidential bodyguard Kwak Sang-cheon (Lee Hee-joon) that reaches its peak during the last 40 days of the President's (Lee Sung-min) regime before the latter is assassinated by Kim in 1979.
The two men also compete to prevent a former KCIA director (Kwak Do-won), who is exiled to the US where Koreagate investigations are under way and knows all about the government's operations, from publishing his memoir.
While The Man Standing Next tries to incorporate all viewpoints of why the assassination happened, it takes a slightly sympathetic stance towards Kim.
Lee's portrayal of Kim is excellent as it fully encapsulates the woes of any person bounded by circumstances such as his.
Definitely an interesting watch for history junkies.
- ELAINE LEE