The Seventh Lie is the feature film directorial debut of James Hung. The Seventh Lie is a fresh departure from the light fare of many dramatic and action Chinese films on the international film market by compelling the audience to participate vicariously on an elliptical narrative presenting intertwined individual complex plots in a seamless linear manner.
Hung selected chaotic Hong Kong as the backdrop landscape to frame this dramatic dark narrative of the human condition into a series of four vignettes about the decay and downward spiral of truth and honesty as known by society into a web of lies, deception and betrayal through the eyes of an ensemble cast of flawed characters interconnected to each other on the different vignettes by a common denominator, what it seems to be similar to the famous seven sins, namely wrath, greed, lust, and envy. Corruption, contempt and the twisting of the word are the driving force on the narrative of this tale, but regardless of moments of despicable betray, redemption and a new found honesty prevails at the end.
The very physical and quasi-comedic performance of the cast comprised by Hong Kong top caliber actors (Josie Ho, Ronald Cheng, Loi Hong Pang and Wai Kai Leung Tommy) portraying assassins, cheating couples, corrupted policemen, disgruntled spouses, sexual deviants, runaway brides and a redeeming psychic are the right catalyst to this mixed-genre narrative as written and directed by Hung, who also utilized claustrophobic locations such as hotels rooms and hallways to determining time, landscape and space as another character to tell the story. (Hotels rooms in Hong Kong are rather small in contrast to the urban architectural grandeur displayed by the city).
The cinematography by Ka On Ronnie Au and production design by Rose Hung worked seemingly with Hung's vision. The photography and art design (Janet Chan) of every location/vignette is under its own color palette, running from a clean surgical steel look (while an assassin is choosing which tailored suit, shirt, and tie to wear before going out to kill again) to the warm tungsten glowy look of a runaway bride perplexed by the possibilities of her own future while hiding from her future husband and bride maids crisscrossing the city under the neon and traffic lights to a final rendezvous with a prophetic psychic on an idyllic park illuminated with colorful china balls and lanterns.
The low budget film was shot on a single Canon 1DC with Canon cinema lenses and recorded to SanDisk’s Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 cards.