Tsui Hark's cinematic grammar deployed to maximalist effect. Time in Tide is a film of constant motion, imbued with kineticism in every construction that entices the senses and emotes in every direction, from its downright staggeringly effective tapestries of violence to its romanticism that lurks underneath its nihilistic facade. The narrative structure is complex but far from indiscernible, operating on a plane in which the complex narrative serves the theme - chance and circumstance are just a part of life. For Hark, the world and its notions of social order is an abstraction, societal arrangements only provide an illusion of comfort with movement being a consistent obligation for survival. The anarchism intrinsic to day-to-day existence isn't necessarily a negative, it's simply the nature of living with the pursuit, the act of seeking out something more embedded into our very being. The formal style is extremely dynamic and entrancing in the vibrant kineticism it creates but its perpetual motion also perfectly encapsulates the theme. Constantly inventive and invigorating, Time and Tide is without question one of the prolific filmmaker's best later works.
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