I Come With the Rain

By Frankie Nehra

I Come With The Rain is a tense thriller, written and directed by French filmmaker Tran Anh Hung, whose previous films include Norwegian Wood and The Vertical Ray of Sun. I Come With the Rain is both beautiful and brutal in its depiction of ex- police officer Kline, played by Hollywood star Josh Hartnett, as he seeks out the mysterious Shiteo. Parallel to Kline’s story is that of ferociously cruel gangster Su Dongpo and his drug- addicted girlfriend Lili. All of the characters entwine when Lili is kidnapped and ends up being the subject of Shiteo’s apparent healing powers. Kline is, all the while, haunted by a past case that caused him to quit the Police Force, that of serial killer Hasford, who not only killed his victims, but used their bodies to make twisted ‘art’. 

I Come With the Rain

I Come With The Rain has character types typically associated with this kind of film, the haunted ex- police officer, the killer, the gangster, the enigma and the beautiful girl. However, it would be unfair to dismiss this film as another crime thriller, it is both abstract and unusual. This is a film that brings elements of all different genres and unrelentingly throws them together to make a film that is both compelling and horrific. Josh Hartnett’s Kline is an intriguing watch, he is unpredictable and his possible descent into madness as he begins to over identify with Hasford in a series of vision and dream sequences, makes his story one of the most interesting.

The character I found myself wanting to watch the most, however, was Shiteo, whose screen time is almost frustratingly short. It is with Shiteo that the heavy religious imagery is brought into the film, the character can be seen as something of a Christ- like figure, complete with a crude crucifixion towards the end of the film. Shiteo has the ability to heal others, shown, rather dramatically in a number of gruesome, bloody scenes. He is also self- sacrificing; his healing clearly causes him physical harm. All of this makes for a very interesting character. However, the other character’s stories, though interesting, sometimes take away from the full exploration of Shiteo. The religious themes only become explicit around halfway through the film, I found myself wishing that these themes had been explored from the very beginning.

It has to be said that, because of the incredible detail of the film, it can be quite easy to get lost in the plots of each character or lose track of what is happening. The fact that we sometimes go ten minutes without seeing anything of a main character caused me to almost forget them, instead becoming invested in the character I was watching. Sometimes, the individual stories become too separated, which caused my attention to stray away from the main storyline. I Come With The Rain is definitely a film that requires the full attention of the audience; it is not something you can turn away from, even for a few seconds, through fear of losing what is happening in the story.       

It is a film that sits on a lot of tension, even in the quieter moments of the film, the heavy atmosphere is not only tangible, but also at times unbearable. The long silences, particularly between Hasford and Kline are extremely uncomfortable to watch, though it also happens to be one of those films that is so gripping it is impossible to turn away. The atmosphere is only made heavier by the haunting soundtrack, provided by Radiohead, which is used at deliciously selected moments that the tension mount even further.  

Ultimately, I Come With the Rain is a film to look out for. It is terrifically intense and at times difficult to follow. However the incredible detail and execution of each characters story, twinned with views of the countryside and the frantic city of Hong Kong, make the film gripping, brilliantly horrific and an all round thrilling watch. 

Directed by: Tran Anh Hung
Featuring: Josh Hartnett, Elias Koteas, Lee Byung-hun
Certificate: 18


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About The Author

Frankie My name is Frankie Nehra. I spent a week interning at Raindance where I learned a great deal about the day- to- day workings of the company.

I have just finished studying a Media Arts degree at Royal Holloway, University of London. I hope to stay on at Royal Holloway to study for a Masters in either Screenwriting or Producing Television and Film.

When I have finished studying I aspire to write for screen and television. I also hope to write articles for music and film.



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