A special agent has for 8 years been deep undercover in Asia's lucrative organized crime trade as he plays protégé to one of the key players, Banker. Nick now has but he has started to feel loyalty to his new environment, and to the money.
Story centers on a battle during China's Warring States Period, a series of civil wars, which spanned from the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. Based on a popular Japanese manga, which was in turn based a Japanese novel inspired by Warring States history in China.
A cop is forced into early retirement due to retinal damage. But after witnessing a bank robbery along with a female inspector - who believes he has acute senses - they team up in hope to solve the case.
It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
Man works as a clerk in a shipping company. His life is truly non-eventful and dull, until he meets the beautiful but highly arrogant Karen. By day, Karen is a two-bit host of a home ... See full summary »
My Mother is a Belly Dancer is the last in the series of the FOCUS: First Cuts project, and to my surprise, it's my favourite of the lot, beating Crazy Stone, one of my movies of the year 2006! It's no secret that I dig dance movies, but this one is not the usual flick filled with teen angst and such. It has a lot more gravitas to it, and contains characters that you actually care for, with universal themes which makes it easier to reach out to audiences.
Belly dancing is getting popular amongst the dance crowd in Singapore. It's sensual, with those shoulder shimmies and belly twists, and contains moves that will probably give those abs a fabulous workout. It's a traditional dance, and no doubt with its sensuousness, it takes a little getting used to, especially for local Asian women who are generally shy to expose that midriff and shake that booty. (Clarification: I think younger women have no qualms, but the movie's focus is on the "auntie crowd")
Set in a residential estate, the film looks into the lives of 4 women, and how dance, in particular the belly dance, helped to develop them into stronger women, from the traditional demure roles into independent womanhood. We actually look at mums of different ages and backgrounds, such as a housewife who gains no respect from her husband nor her kid son, a single, young mother, a fruit seller whose husband she suspects is having an affair, and finally, a rubbish collector whose facing problems with feeding her large family of kids given her husband's inability to hold down a well paying job.
Before you scream in disgust that this is typical women-power stuff, I'd like to assure that it actually has a lot of heart, and that's what made this movie so enjoyable. It's about finding strength and the acceptance of reality. It's about assertion and moving on. Each woman face their own unique problems in their lives, and by coming together in the dance class, they form a strong bond with one another, especially when the dance class itself face discrimination from the more traditional, uptight older womenfolk who view it as immoral and slutty. Their problems and challenges in their personal lives run viz-a-viz the issues of keeping their class alive, and by saving their class and keeping their spirits alive, they too subconsciously experience a change in their character.
The lead actresses, though not frequently seen in movies these days, all put up commendable performances, even though some of their characters start off in a one- dimensional manner. They added believability with their earnest portrayals of women facing problems, and who turn out for the better when they discover new strength during their dance sessions, and through the forging of new bonds. Andy Lau returns to lend some star power in the movie, as with most of the other FOCUS: First Cuts project films. Here, he cameos as the owner of a middle eastern bar, where women congregate and share their love for belly dancing.
So just what exactly is happiness? That's what the movie seeks to explore, and presents at the same time, the common viewpoints of family live as seen through different eyes, in different forms, under different circumstances.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?