The End of the Hong Kong Identity - Infernal Affairs III



Near the end of Infernal Affairs, Chan Wing-yan points a gun to Lau Kin-ming's head. It was the critical moment of the Hong Kong identity - in the end, Chan Wing-yan, who represents the common fate (serving two masters) of undercovers in local cinema, meets his demise in the hand of Lau Kin-ming who has chosen to turn good (return to the motherland). It declares the end of the Hong Kong identity. By renewing their grudging three-year relationship (it was exactly 6 years after the Handover when the film was screened), what Chan Wing-yan and Wong Chi-shing get in the end is Lau Kin-ming becoming a total cop. A Chinese, pure and simple, if you like. And it spells the end of the Hong Kong identity.

But it not a clean break with the past for Lau Kin-ming. The moles that Hon Sam puts in the police force, once his comrades, are now the obstacle to his new life. He manages to take one out in the lift, but what about the other? From the very beginning of Infernal Affairs III, the audience is led into Lau Kin-ming's situation - his paranoid search for the "other". But the search leads him back to the identity he puts an end to. In the film, he looks into a mirror and sees Chan Wing-yan.

Infernal Affairs III is actually Lau Kin-ming's descent into a paranoid schizophrenia. He wants a clean break from the past, but he has qualms making the jump. All the signs or evidence show that Yeung Kam-wing (Leon Lai) is the "other" (he is not, he just trades information with Hon Sam). By seeing Li Sam-yee, Chan Wing-yan's shrink, and peeking into his therapy record, Lau Kin-ming gradually turns himself into Chan Wing-yan (the Chan Wing-yan he imagines). He projects the identity he wants to discard – his negative side - onto Yeung Kam-wing. In the end, he sees Yeung Kam-wing as Lau Kin-ming, and he has become Chan Wing-yan.

By Longtin

For Chinese version, please click here.

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