Days of Being Wild (1990)
"Ah fei zing zyun" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  15 December 1990 (Hong Kong)
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Reviews: 35 user | 55 critic | 14 from

Set in 1960, the film centres on the young, boyishly handsome Yuddy, who learns from the drunken ex-prostitute who raised him that she is not his real mother. Hoping to hold onto him, she ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Pan ...
Rebecca (as Tik-Wa Poon)
Danilo Antunes ...
Rebecca's Lover
Mei-Mei Hung ...
The Amah
Ling-Hung Ling ...
Tita Muñoz ...
Yuddy's Mother
Alicia Alonzo ...
Elena Lim So ...
Hotel Manageress
Maritoni Fernandez ...
Hotel Maid
Angela Ponos ...


Set in 1960, the film centres on the young, boyishly handsome Yuddy, who learns from the drunken ex-prostitute who raised him that she is not his real mother. Hoping to hold onto him, she refuses to divulge the name of his real birth mother. The revelation shakes Yuddy to his very core, unleashing a cascade of conflicting emotions. Two women have the bad luck to fall for Yuddy. One is a quiet lass named Su Lizhen who works at a sports arena, while the other is a glitzy showgirl named Mimi. Perhaps due to his unresolved Oedipal issues, he passively lets the two compete for him, unable or unwilling to make a choice. As Lizhen slowly confides her frustration to a cop named Tide, he falls for her. The same is true for Yuddy's friend Zeb, who falls for Mimi. Later, Yuddy learns of his birth mother's whereabouts and heads out to the Philippines. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

15 December 1990 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Days of Being Wild  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,090 (USA) (19 November 2004)


$141,864 (USA) (8 April 2005)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Su Lizhen also appears in another Kar Wai Wong's film In the Mood for Love (2000). Both Su Lizhens are played by Maggie Cheung, although it has never been clearly indicated that both Lizhens are the same character. See more »


When Tide checks into the hotel, the hotel manageress hands him the key to Room 206. However, in the next scene, Tide uses the key to enter Room 204. This, however, may not be so much a 'goof' as another recurrence of the number '2046' seen so often in Wong Kar-Wai's films. See more »


Leung Fung-ying: When did I say I'd come home with you?
Yuddy: You never said you wouldn't.
See more »


Referenced in Days of Being Wrinkle Free (2009) See more »


Always In My Heart
Performed by Los Indios Tabajaras
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User Reviews

A tragic, supreme meditation on youth, with an impressionable cast
20 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The only other film of Wong Kar-Wai's I have seen is Chungking Express, which asks a second viewing on account of not, like with a Godard film, being able to really soak up everything that he was putting forth with his characters. On the other hand, his second film I have seen, Days of Being Wild, kept me in tune from start to finish. His film is one of what I completely understand, and find emotionally fulfilling, as it deals with people and themes that are universal. At the core is the basic premise that in youth we don't know where we're going, we may feel like we're 'not all there', and being on our own scrambles us up. With his principals, Kar-Wai delivers a love story about what it means to be in love, or not, and how it affects the people around us.

The late Leslie Cheung is our main protagonist, who at the start of the film woos a worker in a stadium, played by Maggie Cheung, and they start up a relationship that seems to go nowhere. Leslie Cheung's Yuddy is the usual kind of angry young man of the late 50's, early 60's, with violent tendencies and a level of detached mood from his counterparts. But he also has a sense of longing, for his parents he's never known (his 'aunt' is rather selfish) and perhaps for something he never says outright. There is also a supporting story involving, and soon co-coinciding with Yuddy's, with a cop wanting to be a sailor (Andy Lau as Tide), who has a sense of quiet longing after becoming interested in one of Yuddy's frustrated girlfriends (Carina Lau as Leung Fung-Ying). By the time the last half hour kicks in, the main focus of the story comes in, at least for our two main heroes, and for the women in the story.

Cheung and Cheung give many of the more powerful scenes in the picture, with dramatic tension and the kind of fun youth posses. But also, Lau is rather remarkable in his supporting role even when we are basically following him around, himself in his own thoughts we only hear occasionally in voice-over (as with a couple of the other characters). More often than not, Kar-Wai wisely chooses to bring more mood to the story than actual plot contrivances or twists like in a common teen love story. While some passages are rather blunt in this respect (i.e. the quote about the bird with no legs, a fitting, stark image), they seem to work. That there is not much violence as could be expected from a title like this is also a pleasant surprise.

Adding to all of this, there is Christopher Doyle behind a camera that moves much like is was guided by a next-generation Raul Coutard. Some shots are impressive just by being elaborate (like when we glide from the street up the stairs to a lunch-hall where Yuddy is at in the Philippines). Other are more subtle, with the emphasis of darkness and light a voracious method to bring out the kinds of moods in these characters. Early on in the film, as in midway as well, some of the close-ups (like with two lovers in an intimate moment) are of the highest quality in artistry. Doyle, who ended up working on Kar-Wai on most of his films, displays foremost a wandering, intuitive approach that bring Days of Being Wild somewhere special, if not perfect.

Simply put, this film may be more directed to a specific kind of audience (art-house/Hong-Kong film buffs) than a mainstream romance/youth picture, but it doesn't compromise any of its integrity.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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