A dark Taipei drama

I am sure it is a situation many people in Taiwan have met with before. A double parked car prevents someone from moving their own car. This is the plot device used in the movie Parking (停車) where a double parked car sets of a chain of events that take place over one night in Taipei.

Chang Chen (張震) plays the leading role in the movie as he stops on his way home to buy a chocolate cake for his wife. He then finds himself stuck in a rundown Taipei neighborhood where most of the film’s events take place.

Labelled as a black comedy, the movie might better be described as a dark urban drama or series of intimately connected vignettes. The script holds the film together well as it shifts from friendly encounters and comic moments to more violent scenes. The back story is also developed with flashback scenes that tell the story of a Chinese sex worker, a Hong Kong tailor and difficulties in Chen’s marriage.

Although Kwai Lun-mei (桂綸鎂), who plays Chen’s wife, receives equal billing in promotion for the movie, her part is more peripheral. Strong performances by some of the other supporting actors really bring a lot to the film, especially Jack Kao (高捷) as the barber and Leon Dai (戴立忍) as the pimp.

I enjoyed this film for its fine acting and the twists and turns in the plot. Despite its often dark tone it is ultimately a tale of redemption.

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