A Witness Out of the Blue (2019) [Fantasia Fest 2020]

The official definition for this film is “[a] Hong Kong crime thriller about a detective and a parrot” and it honestly nails the film. It’s what it’s about with of course other factors involved like a criminal, some corruption, and a little bit of love possibly.

This film from writer/director Chi-Keung Fung is a bit of a bore. The story description above is the best that can be made after attempting to watch the film and completely losing interest more than once. Perhaps this one plays better with a crowd and lost some of its charm being watched at home part of a virtual film festival. As it is, the film starts with a murder investigation and then meander a bunch before getting to its fairly expected conclusion over 100 minutes later. Some really love this film, but others will check out early and have a really hard time getting back into it. The writing and directing are most likely the main cause of this as not keeping the attention is something that is usually to be pinned on these.

The performances by Louis Koo, Jessica Hester Hsuan, and the rest of the cast seem to be ok, but they get completely lost when the attention and interest of the viewer are lost by the story and its development. They could be giving the best performances of the year, if they are not being paid attention to, then what is the point. Of course, each of them catches the attention here and there, making it clear that they have given their all to their performances no matter how things go.

A Witness Out of the Blue is a film that just didn’t work for this reviewer even though it was gone into with the best intentions and a desire to love it based on the cast and a few other details. It unfortunately fell short (way short) of expectations and while it could have gone the silly route with a parrot and a detective teaming up for comedy, it did not which was really its undoing in the end.

The Fantasia International Film Festival runs every year, and this year runs virtually from August 20th until September 2nd.