Certificate: 15

Director: Wei-Hao Cheng

Screenwriter: Wei-Hao Cheng

Starring: Chen Chang, Janine Chun-Ning Chang, Anke Sun

Genre: Mystery, Sci Fi

Runtime: 130 Minutes

Language: Mandarin

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

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While investigating the death of a businessman, and prosecutor and his wife uncover occult secrets, and they face their own life and death dilemma – From Netflix

You have to bare with this one guys.  It isn’t short, it isn’t quick paced, an more than likely for the first half you wont have the faintest idea what is going on.  But I think that is kind of the point.  You think it is going to be a simple murder mystery.  Or perhaps a mystery with a little bit of a paranormal twist.  So you are constantly looking for clues and hints as to what is going on.  But like me, you are likely not going to guess what really happened until it is revealed to you.  So in that respect I guess this film delivers.  No one wants a mystery you can figure out in the first half an hour.

The timeline does jump around quite a lot, you get to see a lot of the same scenes from the perspective of different characters, sometimes more than once, and in the beginning this is a bit jarring and confusing.  Once the initial crime is solved, or at least we think it is, the slow pace becomes even more apparent as the story continues on for another hour, and there isn’t even the added bonus of a mystery to keep us engaged.

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The whole twist in the second half surrounding the transferring of consciousness is a lot for the audience to take in, and it is all explained in one long flashback sequence with a lot of exposition and science talk that was a little boring to be honest.  The occult angles was enough for me and would have made a great story on it’s own, we didn’t need this entire extra plot twist at the end to make an interesting thriller, and supply us with a supposedly ambiguous ending.

This good news, is that the cast, acting and writing are excellent. Especially during the more emotional moments.  The slow onslaught of Liang Wen-Chao’s cancer is really the emotional force behind the film, and these were some of the best scenes in the film.

A bit of a disappointing one really, wouldn’t suggest you watch this one as a matter of priority, but if you want something a little slower and want to have your mind boggled, sure, give it a go.

‘The Soul’ is streaming now on Netflix.