By Monika S-r

Another joint project by actor Andy Lau and director Johnny To, after “A love on diet”, “Fulltime killer” and Fat Choi Spirit, the film is classified as action, drama and thriller, with some humoristic scenes. The film won a number of awards, including one for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best actor, at the 23rd Hong Kong film awards.

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This is the story of a Buddhist ex-monk and bodybuilder named Big, who is endowed with the mysterious power of seeing the karma of other people. Big works as a stripteaser, which, in view of his silhouette, turns out to be a lucrative business. During one of his shows, he meets a beautiful woman-cop and notes that she has a very bad karma. He decides to help her.

The film’s story is interesting but also heavy and brutal in some scenes for me. This is the merit of both Siu-Keung Cheng, who was responsible for the cinematography and the special effects. The story presents two messages: What we do now will have consequences tomorrow and when we fight, we fight with ourselves.

Andy Lau is wonderful as always, and personally, I like him overall and in details. And by details, I mean two aspects in particular: The first one is the way he wipes his face with tissue in a lovely, energetic movement, using only one hand, in a move that someone really has to see in order to understand how fun it is. The second takes place in the last scene of the film when he wears his habit again, takes a cigarette from the pocket of a policeman and leaves with a cigarette in his teeth, in a funny, light played and with some nonchalance sequence, where, in just two minutes, he manages to highlight his acting skills and versatility. 

I really enjoyed the joint walk, of Lee Fung Yee and Big, holding hands, after they had dinner. And after that, she says “Bye”, goes away and tries not to cry, because she knows that a one-minute walk and a short touch of their hands it will be her only memories. I felt Cecilia Cheung at that moment with all my heart, through the sadness in her face, her lowered head and arms. 

Other memorable scenes include a fight with a tissue and the one where Big is trying to drive the motorbike, which is very funny.

Among the highlights of the film are its costumes, as Andy Lau wears a muscle uniform, which was a challenge for Vruce Yu to design, but he delivered in impressive fashion. The building of tension is another great aspect of the film, through the use of the sound, the music composed by Cacine Wong and the dark lights. The soundtrack performed by Anthony Yiu-Ming Wong also attracted my attention. In this performance, you can hear all the emotions and regrets that Lee Fung Yee experiences.

“Running on Karma” is a very interesting film that focuses on feeling hurt due to past actions, about the  inability to change what has passed. And it hurts more, when we have no influence of our own.  It is worth watching the film and asking ourselves, what we have done in our life and what is our actual purpose.