On a normal day in provincial China, a bored high-school student goes about his regular business. But he’s planning the brutal murder of his only friend, a talented violinist. He invites her round, strangles her, stuffs her body into a washing machine and flees town. On the run, he is initially anxious, but soon he alerts the police to his whereabouts, surrenders to undercover agents in a pool bar, and sabotages all efforts by China’s judiciary system, a steady stream of psychologists and his family to overturn the death penalty, all without ever showing a shred of remorse.
A Perfect Crime is both a vision of China’s heart of darkness the despair that traps the rural poor and the incoherent rage lurking behind their phlegmatic front and a technically brilliant excursion into the claustrophobic realm of classic horror and suspense. With exceptional tonal control, A Yi steadily reveals the psychological backstory that enables us to make sense of the story’s dramatic violence and provides chillingly apt insights into the psychology behind a murder committed simply as an intellectual challenge to relieve the daily tedium of existence.