Fantasia Festival Review: Legally Declared Dead

Ever since the principle of insurance was conceived, there have been people willing to try and exploit the system. In America alone, the insurance industry is worth over a trillion dollars and employs almost three million people. Whilst there’s a huge workforce tasked with sales and customer service, there’s also a large number of investigators and adjusters, providing assurance for their corporations. Legally Declared Dead leads us on a journey into the dark heart of greed.

When Yip (Carlos Chan), an insurance agent, visits one of the company’s customers, Mr Chu. (Anthony Chau-Sang Wong), he discovers that his son is dead. Despite the death being classed as suicide, the industrious employee smells a rat. He begins to investigate the father and is worried that his visually-impaired wife (Karena Lam) might be next on his list. However, Yip may have bitten off more than he can chew.

Whilst insurance fraud might not seemingly provide the most exciting premise, Legally Declared Dead is a twisty and grizzly thriller which is not for the feint of heart. Yuen Kim-Wai’s film keep you on your toes. As Yip descends further down his own personal rabbit-hole, each revelation throws up as many questions at it answers. Whilst not perfect, Legally Declared Dead is an enthralling drama which likes to keep its cards close to its chest.

Legally Declared Dead screened at Fantasia Festival.

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