Magazine article Screen International

'Jasmine': Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Jasmine': Review

Article excerpt

Dir/prod/scr: Dax Phelan. HK, 2015, 80 mins.

Jasmine, an English-language thriller set in Hong Kong, stars Jason Tobin as a troubled young man who has just returned to town after an unspecified breakdown. He is lonely and alienated and has deep scars on his wrists. He initially seems eager to make a fresh start, but his zeal to seek atonement for previous, unexplained actions doesn't quite ring true.

Writer-director Dax Phelan uses the trope of the unreliable narrator to mixed effect in Jasmine, a classically-executed slow-moving descent into paranoia set on the streets of Hong Kong. Working from an idea by Phelan and Tobin, Jasmine's script is too thinly fleshed-out to be fully successful, and the production tends to drag through its final frames. This moody noir will find a slim audience locally, and works best as a calling card for its director and lead actor, who are clearly capable.

The entire piece rests on Tobin's slender shoulders; there is brief support from Eugenia Yuan and Grace Huang, but the Eurasian actor anchors Jasmine. …

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