Wang’s Arrival (L’arrivo di Wang ) – Released 2012 – short review

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Wang’s Arrival (2011)

(15) Running time: 80 mins

Director: Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti 

Writers: Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti 

Starring: Ennio Fantastichini, Francesca Cuttica, Juliet Esey Joseph 

Reviewed by: David Gillespie, official HCF artist

Wang’s Arrival was one of the last films to screen at the Glasgow Frightfest 2012.  Although the project has elements of horror and sci-fi, it is clearly in the thriller genre and was an oddball in this year’s performances. Perhaps the first gripe when attempting to construct a review is that the story has one major turning point. Once this is revealed (the highlight of the film), the project has nowhere else to go. However the first third of the running time is compulsive viewing with great performances from the leads.

Francesca Cuttica plays Gaia, a translator that is subcontracted to a highly paid but no questions asked job for a governmental organisation. When her taxi arrives a gentleman inside called Curti (the superb Ennio Fantastichini) insists on her being blindfolded for her own safety. Gaia is clearly perturbed but accepts the request. She is led into a high security building with a series of sterile interview rooms. Curti explains that they wish to interview a Japanese man called Mr Wang and asks that she translates what is said but that she must not ask any questions regards the content of the conversation. Her other dilemma is that she is not allowed to see her subject. When the interview begins it soon becomes apparent that Wang may be a threat to national safety. In reality, he is much more than this.

Perhaps the greatest flaw with Wang’s Arrival is the running time. The story would be far more impressive as a short in an anthology as most of the conversation during the interview retreads the same questions and response. From gripping the viewer’s attention in the first third, the movie soon loses it’s way and the dramatic revelation at the climax seems strained and lazy. The low budget also works against the production. This could be the first time an American remake might benefit a film.

The standout sequence is Gaia’s reaction when she finally witnesses Mr Wang in the flesh. Her reaction is priceless and totally believable. Unfortunately things start to go downhill after this moment leaving Wang’s Arrival an idea filled with potential that does not really go anywhere.

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆


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About DAVID GILLESPIE 169 Articles
Fighting for clean bathrooms and restrooms since 1974.

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