First things first. This is not so much a dramatic heart-wrenching film, more a self-indulgent melodrama. I have just had the misfortune to sit through the director's DVD cut of this movie. 159 minutes of self indulgent twaddle. One thing's for sure - the distributors sure got it right when they axed nearly 30 minutes from the running time for the cinema release.
Why is this so bad? 2 major factors - the writing and directing. Please put your hand up Patrick Tam. If you're going to make a film that centers on a father/son relationship, please make the father 3-dimentional and believable. Here we had a total loser from the first minute; one who railed at his own (self-inflicted) misfortune and had an on/off loving relationship with his 8 year old son.
Can I quickly say that this little boy was by far the best thing in the film and acted everyone else off the screen and is the ONLY reason to watch this film.
The great mystery is why this nonsense garnered so many awards? Somebody called Roger Garcia is quoted on the back of my DVD copy as saying that "After This Our Exile is the first masterpiece of Hong Kong cinema of the 21st century ..." I think he's wrong. And if he's right - then God help HK cinema.
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