Koey believes happiness is like a bottle of coke, it'll soon become tasteless if you don't enjoy it right away. Simon believes happiness is similar to planting trees. You need to water them...
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Koey believes happiness is like a bottle of coke, it'll soon become tasteless if you don't enjoy it right away. Simon believes happiness is similar to planting trees. You need to water them everyday, and the true satisfaction comes when they blossom. Willy does not believe in happiness at all. Three lives intersect. Three totally different personalities. Three ways of experiencing life and love. Written by
Compared with two other local indies that I best remember, "b420" is slightly more mainstream. One of those is Bryan Chang's "Moon-star-sun trilogy" which does not use any professional actors and barely has any story - truly refreshing. The other - morbid, tension-filled "Fu Bo", with a good story to tell - is Wong Ching-po's original and impressive first effort. Wong, unfortunately, loses no time in revealing his shallowness in his next two movies by trying too hard to impress, without the ability to do so.
Matthew Tang's "b420" has been highly praised by local critics, and indeed won an award in the the Fukuoka Asian File Festival. Deceptively loose and fragmented, this movie has in fact a plot integrity that is not often found in indies. Local critics hail the insightful depiction of the three young protagonists' feelings but come down heavily on the farcical turn near the end, writing it off as succumbing to cheap thrills that destroy the languid mood of the entire movie. They are missing something here.
While a good part of the film does dwell on the bitter-sweet relationship of the three "before-twenties", another trail can hardly be missed as it is so often mentioned - the "other" life-line that Koey (Miki Yeung) could have had if the family tragedy had not happened. We can almost visualise her as a refined young lady dancing graceful ballet instead of a half-fallen street urchin paddling movie tickets.
The farcical turn of event at the end is only a mechanism to get to the poignant ending. Surely it must be so, as the movie makers have paid so little attention and given so little screen time to this last section that it can only be there as a convenient mean. Underscoring this is the fact that the end is connected back to the opening shots, of the two guys running in opposite direction, the meaning of which was not revealed in the beginning. It all boils down to a subtly planted idea, that the protagonists are no more than string puppets in the hand of fate.
I don't recall seeing Sam Lee Chant-sum looking so serious since the day he was "picked up from the gutters" by Fruit Chan for "Made in Hong Kong". Fresh face Ben Hung does have a boyish charm that comes across as being more natural compared with the guy in the recent Japanese hit "Train man". Yeung Oi-gan (Miki of ex-Cookies) gave an eye-opening performance, making her character believable, which is more than what Sammi Cheng was able to do in "Everlasting Regret" by banging her head against the wall (literally).
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