Asian Horror: The Diary

妄想 Mon Seung (2006)

While roaming on Youtube, I stumbled on some more Asian movies. Not that I have time to watch much entertainment these days, but I was practically asking for a distraction.

The title of the Hong Kong psychological thriller doesn’t really translate to Diary, but more like a ‘vain attempt‘ according to Google. The movie stars several of Hong Kong’s most famous:

Charlene Choi 蔡卓妍 as Winnie

Shawn Yue 余文樂 as Seth

Isabella Leong 梁洛施 as… that’s a surprise

Dude, this was seriously a bizarre movie. Here’s a quick synopsis. Winnie Leung lives alone in her dark apartment, which is quite representative of the tumultuous world she inhabits. She has recently been abandoned by her boyfriend. Still in a state of depression, she thinks about him day and night and ventures out to find him. During her utterly depressive moments, Winnie is seen expressing her feelings and sadness to another woman. I like this segment of their conversation:  “Men would do anything before you get laid… Men and women are two different species. Women like to be cared by men. Men like to care for all women.” You watch MTV, Maury’s paternity test episodes, or Jerry Springer white trash, you’ll find some truth in this worthy quotable. Or you may have been in a past relationship that sadly didn’t work out for whatever reason. Men can be players indeed, but I’m sure there are good guys out there. Not that women are good fellas either; some women just ask to be laid too. You can also blame Darwinian principles or the hypothalamus and amygdala. It’s only biology right?

Now, back on the right track. Later on, Winnie ventures to his supposed workplace and sees a man named Ray, who closely resembles her old boyfriend, Seth Lau. Quickly becoming obsessed, she pursues him and ultimately invites him to her apartment. At this point, the story slowly unfolds and becomes a tangle of spaghetti and meatballs. It appears that Winnie really lives in a dark world, in reality and in her mind. She is constantly paranoid about Seth, the old boyfriend. She freaks out about little things like the food she cooks for Ray. Most of the time, their conversations always goes back to Seth this and Seth that. Ultimately, her sob story about her ‘dead’ boyfriend Seth changes and arouses suspicion from Ray.

Winnie has two particular habits, making wooden puppets and writing in her diary. Alone and emotional, she escapes into her own world by crafting puppets and writing. It is ultimately her diary that clues in to the chronology of events and fates.

This was a strange and confusing movie. I still don’t think I have the exact occurrences and character developments down. It was not even really scary in the sense of blood, gore, ghosts, and monsters. It was more of a mind tease. But I do have one thing to say about mental illness: it is goddamn scary and weird. The movie takes you for an inside look at schizophrenia, all the hallucinations, mental instability, and emotional suffering that happens. Charlene Choi shows she can be more than a singer and a pretty face; she can be a breakthrough actress.

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