Like some others who have reviewed the movie, I am puzzled as to why this movie managed to win the awards it did -- except for the best supporting actor award going to the kid playing the "Boy" in the movie. He totally carried the movie -- he's really a major reason why I could sit through the 160 mins of the director's cut version of the movie.
Don't get me wrong. The movie isn't bad, but just that it's really not that good. A few pleasant surprises, besides the fabulous performance by the kid. Despite that his character is essentially a clichéd stereotype, Kwok turned out to be a much better actor than he is a singer. Also, several scenes are funny and the director's humor showed.
But the movie severely suffers from empty script and indulgent direction. The movie's character and plot developments are too light to substantiate the 3-hour duration (or, I believe, even the 2.5-hour duration of the theatre's cut). And the movie drags on and on. Sometimes it's as if the director isn't confident that the messages he intends for the audience would get through, and so he keeps re-sending them, and sometimes in an overly melodramatic way.
Another thing worth mentioning is the director (Tam) seems heavily influenced by Kar-Wai Wong. It's especially evident in the setup where the father gets into an affair with his neighbor in the hotel (reminiscent of "In the Mood for Love" and "2046"). But the movie would have benefited much if Tam's direction were crisper, subtler and more assured.
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