It is an unusual day for the remote and isolated Desire Village. A mysterious Taoist priest brings a magical equipment that can erase one's memory. Since then, all the villagers have ... See full summary »
When Wan (Kimi Hsia) returns home from Taipei with both a failed modeling career, and an enormous amount of debt, she finds that misfortune has also befallen her family's restaurant, which ... See full summary »
This musical film incorporates a series of romantic stories with beautiful original songs. The stories are set in modern Taipei City, Taiwan, on Valentine's Day. The title is inspired by ... See full summary »
Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.
A-Gu enlists a group of contract killers in the disguise of laundry service. One of them, code-named "No. 1, Greenfield Lane", is haunted by the ghosts of his victims. He seeks help from ... See full summary »
A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »
Having seen quite a few Taiwanese movies, I was interested in seeing how the films of the director Chen Yuxun compared to those of Tsai Mingliang or Hou Xiaoxian. 'Tropical Fish' compares rather favorably. It is much lighter than the works of his elders, and is very funny in places, though in no way a shallow, predictable potboiler.
The plot, without giving too much away, deals with a mediocre student about to face national exams, who is caught up in a kidnapping. Needless to say, the kidnapping does not quite work out as planned.
The impending exams loom large as the story progresses in a way that is both humorous and perhaps also critical of how these tests are of such paramount importance in determining education and career possibilities. There also seems to be some contrasting of Mandarin speakers and Taiwanese speakers which follows class distinctions quite closely. I quite enjoyed hearing Taiwanese spoken in such an earthy and piquant style. I hope Taiwanese directors continue to support its use.
The plot moves forward in a controlled manner, avoiding predictability, and (with a few musical interludes) towards a quite satisfying conclusion.
Having just the right mix of humour and social reality, I really enjoyed this one, and am looking forward to seeing the director's next film, Love Go Go.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?