Film Review: Silent Witness

Article By Pui See Tsang
Photo credit Niko

Silent Witness, a crime thriller film directed by Fei Xing, opens with the trial of 20-year-old Lin Mengmeng (Deng Jiajia), who is accused of murdering her dad’s girlfriend, singer Yang Dan (Cica Zhou). Mengmeng’s millionaire father, Lin Tai (Sun Honglei), is one of the country’s most renowned financial entrepreneurs with a string of unproven cases against him and a reputation for arrogance. Lin Tai argues for his daughter’s innocence, and has to challenge a brilliant prosecutor named Tong Tao (Aaron Kwok). Mengmeng, defended by one of China’s top lawyers, Zhou Li (Yu Nan), allegedly became furious over an Internet video of Yang Dan’s adulterous affair, which motivated her to murder. The cross-examinations that follow reveal dramatic stories about the characters that will keep audiences on their toes.

The beginning of the film is slow-paced as it tries to explain the situation and background of each of the characters. People may initially think of it as just another dramatic crime story with rich people and lawyers. However, there is more to the story than meets the eye. It is actually a very touching film about the loving bond between a father and his daughter. The film also raises many questions, such as, “At what point does the truth stop to matter?”

Once the film reaches the half-hour mark, the plot quickly thickens. It creates a complex web of trust and allegiances that viewers have to attentively keep track of. The story is told through different points of view, each adding a new layer of complexity.

This cinematographic tactic leaves audiences guessing throughout the film. Some viewers may be overwhelmed by the elaborate narrative, but other viewers who persevere until the end will feel mentally and emotionally rewarded.

If you are interested in suspense, courtroom drama and modern China, Silent Witness is a must see. The themes of justice, truth, loyalty and love are also sure to attract a wide variety of viewers. This film is highly recommended.

There will be a North American Premiere and Q&A with director Fei Xing on July 6th at Film Society of Lincoln Center during New York Asian Film Festival.

Goran Topalovic, Fei Xing, Zishuo Ding, Samuel Jamier

Avatar photo

About AsianInNY is New York’s leader in Asian networking and a multi-cultural entertainment site. AsianInNY has established itself as the premier social and cultural authority for Asians in New York City. AsianInNY maintains the highest standards in providing reliable online content and producing live offline events. AsianInNY seeks to inspire, educate, and connect our community, using a versatile platform that engages our audience via a multi-layered digital presence that showcases the best of New York City. Our pages are updated daily with a rich cultural mix of news, events, interviews, and more. AsianInNY: Connect with Everything Asian!