Felix Chong and Alan Mak are possibly Hong Kong’s best commercial screenwriters. They are the writing team behind the internationally acclaimed Infernal Affairs (remade in the USA as The Departed) as well as local hits Overheard, Initial D and Lady Cop and Papa Crook. In among that string of successful movies they also wrote this neat little police thriller.
Confession of Pain (its Chinese title translates literally as Forlorn City) is a gripping melodrama with a rare spin. It is, in essence, a murder mystery. The difference is that we know the identity of the killer within 20 minutes. The remaining 90 are spent finding out why the murder occurred, and whether or not the killer is going to get away with it.
Coming home after a sting operation, police officer Bong (the always appealing Takeshi Kaneshiro) finds his pregnant girlfriend dead from suicide. Three years later, Bong is now an alcoholic private investigator. He is dragged back into the life of his ex-partner Hei (the always excellent Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) when the father of Hei's wife Susan (Xu Jinglei) is murdered. While the police investigation is ongoing, Susan asks Bong to conduct his own investigation.