Friday, December 11, 2015

CYCLO (1995)

Jesus this film is depressing.  An orphaned cyclo driver (think of it as a bicycle taxi), who's name is never given, slaves away all day on his rented bicycle.  Then one day his bicycle is stolen and he has no way of repaying the hoods who own the bike.  They forcibly recruit him into their crime syndicate and put him under the control of Poet (Tony Leung Chiu-wai).  At the same time, Cyclo's sister turns to prostitution and begins a doomed relationship with Poet. Cyclo's life, which was already shit, is now flushed straight down into the gurgling bowels of Hell.

I guess it's a credit to the filmmakers because at moments CYCLO almost seems like a fly-on-the-wall documentary.  It's truly a unique and powerful film.  Le Van Loc turns in one hell of a performance, Tony Leung is very good, ultra-depressing story, naturalistic camerawork, animal cruelty, torture, violence, more depression, more animal cruelty, brutal but touching direction by Tran Anh Hung, Radiohead, some creepy dude obsessed with piss.

Recommended.