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Inner Senses
cast: Leslie Cheung, Kar Yan Lam, and Maggie Poon

director: Law Chi-leung

100 minutes (18) 2002
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Tartan Asia Extreme DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Andrew Hook
Inner Senses is one of those movies that manages to be different with not particularly original material, but through the strength of the performances pulls off something involving and occasionally remarkable.

The film begins as a ghost story, with Cheung Yan (Kar Yan Lam) moving into a new apartment. Obviously a troubled young woman she believes she has the unwilling ability to see ghosts, and it isn't long before they're seeking her out in her apartment. It's not clear whether they intend to harm her or need anything from her, but the sight of them is more than enough for a few creepy moments - and the influence of The Sixth Sense is evident but not intrusive.

A relative refers her to Dr Jim Law (Leslie Cheung), a psychiatrist, who deals with her problem by seeking out and forcing her to acknowledge her troubled past. After a while, this treatment proves successful, and once she is cured Cheung Yan and Jim are free to develop the budding relationship they tentatively skirted around whilst they were in the doctor and patient scenario. Everything is set for a happy ending, until it seems that Jim is also becoming beset by ghosts or physical manifestations of guilt from his own past. Now it is Cheung's turn to help him...

The strength of this movie lies in the characterisation, and Leslie Cheung proves again what an adaptable actor he was (his suicide in 2003 being not only a great loss to the film industry, but also inadvertently providing a poignant coda for this movie), with Kar Yan Lam also proving a worthy companion. Some of the emotion is a little heavy-handed, particularly towards the end, but it is never less than compelling. Whilst Inner Senses certainly isn't a fantastic movie, it's definitely worth 100 minutes of your time; and - the mark of a good movie - would bear up to repeated viewings.

My copy of this movie was a time-coded review copy, but I believe that film notes and the original trailer are the only extras on the official release.
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