• Charlie Vogelsang

A Witness Out of the Blue (2019) Review

Showing at the Focus Hong Kong Festival, A Witness Out of the Blue combines comedy, thrills and drama to create an unmissable film involving murder... and a parrot suspect.

Written and directed by Fung Chih-chiang, A Witness Out of the Blue follows a murder investigation with a parrot being the only witness. It stars Louis Koo as Sean Wong, who plays a criminal who is framed for the murder and must clear his name.

He must prove his innocence while dealing with a police chief who is desperate to pin the crime on him to avenge his undercover cop's death, and a killing targeted at Koo's gang who stole the diamonds 3 months prior.

The story mainly focuses on Koo’s character and a bumbling cop called Larry Lam, played by Louis Cheung, as they both try to find out the truth of the murder. Both performances are outstanding as they vastly contrast each other. Cheung’s character is a misunderstood cop who is often mocked for his clumsiness, but it’s clear that he is at least kind-hearted.

Koo’s character is obviously an anti-hero, but one who wants to clear his name and only compromises his morals when he has to. Both are characters with good intentions, but they are on different sides of the law. Neither of them are perfect, as they have their own trauma, but they are clearly trying to do what they believe is best. It's magnetising to see these two spa against each other and you can't help but be glued to the screen.

Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, A Witness Out of the Blue is truly a one-of-a-kind film

There isn’t an actor in this film who doesn’t bring their best. A Witness Out of the Blue is a film full of overwhelming talent. They all clearly worked well with the director and the fascinating script to make each performance stand out.

Similarly, every shot in this film is gorgeous and has a clear purpose. Each angle tells a different story and approach to this film and it’s spectacular to watch.

There isn’t a dull moment in sight with every aspect of the filmmaking being incredible. From the tense music to the cinematography, A Witness Out of the Blue is a modern classic.

Inspirations seemed to be drawn from the suspense of Hitchcock films and the witty and quippy dialogue that could come straight from a Wes Anderson film. The movie combines black comedy with smart crime narratives, and makes the experience completely unique.

Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, A Witness Out of the Blue is truly a one-of-a-kind film. It plays on many different tropes but brings a fresh feel to it. You’ll be surprised at how many moments are just completely laugh out loud, but can then switch to something grippingly dramatic.

It plays with your expectations in the best way possible. There are so many mysteries to unravel. Anyone new to or interested in Hong Kong cinema should definitely check this one out - as it’s truly delightful.


Watch A Witness Out of the Blue at the Focus Hong Kong Festival. Tickets are available now.