It's very disappointing to see a story as dense and shrouded in mystery as kgf chapter 1 being watered down in this film. The film seems to be over-impressed by its own 'epic'ness that the writing goes for a toss. It mistakes payoffs for great scenes but what makes great mass scenes are actually the build up to the payoff.
It's no hyperbole to say Edward Yang painted life on screen. Every frame is immaculately composed and thanks to criterion collection for making this restoration available. It's epic in its scope yet very intimate in Yang's own style. The use of no background score also helps keep the intimacy and realism of the film.
Despite its 4 hour long runtime, it didn't feel long at all. That is how much we are immersed into the characters and the world.
Another aspect to the film's credit is how it manages to be not confusing even with very little exposition.
The real horror in Kairo comes from the fears we experience in our daily life. Kurosawa picked up those fears and blowed them up in a grand narrative that's as original as it's true. I read about many people becoming recluses as all they want can be obtained with internet and without ever stepping outside. So, the film dealing with loneliness and confining spaces and internet and that too while internet was taking its baby steps, it doesn't seem that…