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TIFF Review: Old Stone

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old-stone

A taxi driver pays the hospital bills for the cyclist he injured which has serious ramifications for him.

A man watches a cyclist with interest from his car.  Then the story shifts to a couple months earlier at the scene of an accident where a young man lies on the ground injured and the watcher turns out to be a taxi driver who accidentally hit him.  The situation starts to spiral out of control when the cabbie gets stuck to pay the hospital bills while the family of the victim, taxi and insurance company, and the drunken passenger who caused the incident all refrain from making any payments.  The situation gets even worse when the wife of the protagonist removes all of the money from their account.

Problems keep mounting for taxi driver to the point where he is about to be buried by them.  One needs to have obstacles somehow these all seem familiar and therefor somewhat forced.  The saving grace is the performance of Chen Gang who believably portrays a man bewildered by what is unfolding around him.  The colour pallet is muted and the night time photography is grainy contributing to an atmosphere that is more impersonal than inviting.

The extensive location shooting was a wise decision by filmmaker Johnny Ma as it adds a great deal of authenticity to the imagery.  The camera is placed in the middle of the action which provides a documentary feel to the proceedings.  The tone dramatically shifts near the end with a concluding shot that will either make or break the movie for the viewer.  It serves as a dark commentary about society which uncomfortably rings true.

3-out-of-5

Check out all of our TIFF coverage.

Check out all of our TIFF coverage.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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2 Comments

  1. I saw this film at Leeds Festival and enjoyed it very much. A fundamentally decent man brought down by the system and his own stubbornness. We are asked to score each film we see at the festival. I gave it four out of five

    • Brilliant. Glad you enjoyed it. Always good to hear what everyone thinks of the films we review. Thanks

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