Three thieves try to steal a valuable jade that is tightly guarded by a security chief. But the security guards are not the only obstacle these thieves are facing. An extremely unlucky ... See full summary »
Since 2007, the Hong Kong health authorities have implemented an anti-smoking law that bans people from smoking in all indoor areas, including offices, restaurants, bars, and karaoke ... See full summary »
A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves.
A parody of Louis Cha's novel The Eagle Shooting Heroes (thats the literal translation). Story begins with the Queen of Golden Wheel Kingdom had an affair with her cousin West Poison, and ... See full summary »
Policeman Don Lee often works with informants but numerous too-close calls and failed missions cause him to see the world as one betrayal after another - then he meets Guy, and is given a new chance to change his views.
"The Way We Are" tells the story of a hardworking, widowed, single mother (Mrs. Cheung) and her teenage son (Ka-on) living in the troubled housing estate of Tinshuiwai, a suburb regularly featured in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Hee Ching Paw,
Cheuk Man Au
It is a story about the redemption of three man, a cab driver who never takes credit for helping others, a auxiliary policeman who never asks for promotion even when he risks his life to ... See full summary »
Wing Lee Street, the setting and filming location had been subjected to a redevelopment plan despite objections by the locals as the street; however its success at the Berlin International Film Festival ensured the wishes of the protesters as the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), who proposed the redevelopment abandoned the plan. See more »
Written and directed by Alex Law, Echoes of a Rainbow drips with nostalgia and bucket loads of sentimentality without going overboard into melodrama. It's a capture of the struggles of a working class family in 1960s Hong Kong with the constant change and hardships of society, and the story is top notch, at the surface being able to entertain, and beneath filled with intense, poignant filled moments and scenes that will tug at your heart strings. With attention paid to detail in its art department and direction, to sets and costumes, it seemed that nothing was spared in recreating scenes, moods and behaviours from the past.
And nostalgia is something which I feel that a sub section of contemporary Hong Kong cinema is currently going through, with bio-pics like Ip Man 2 providing a glimpse into the injustices suffered by the Hong Kongers then, being bullied on both the lawful, and unlawful fronts, by foreigners and triads alike. Soon to be released Gallants also captures the yesteryears of cinema in a fun filled manner, with martial arts being the order of the day, but with Echoes, this film is steeply rooted in drama, centering upon the lives of the Law family members. Special effects got effectively used to recreate things that no longer exist such as the old tram climbing up Victoria Peak overlooking a different skyline, and in a brilliant opening sequence involving a large fishbowl from which becomes the looking glass on which old Hong Kong got superimposed through a series of archival clips representative of the times.
But special effects cannot take the place of wonderful acting. Simon Yam, who also recently won the Best Actor award at the recent Hong Kong Film Awards for his role here (and the film garnering a lot more accolades as well) and Sandra Ng are two veterans who put on expert performances here, leading and paving the way for its able supporting cast to shine as well. We all know Simon exudes a sense of debonair cool in a number of gangster flicks, and Sandra is comedy queen extraordinaire. If there's anyone questioning their serious dramatic acting chops, this film will let those eat their words, and be truly flabbergasted by their nuanced performances of those from a generation past.
As head of the household, Simon's Mr Law is a cobbler and a man of few words, with business never booming and constantly struggling to make ends meet. Sandra Ng plays his more talkative wife steeped in a traditional caregiver role, in total departure from the madcap ones that we're so used to, as the mom who's always there for her two kids, played by Buzz Chung as the little Big Ears, and Aarif Lee as Desmond, their family's pride and joy for being in a famed school and its star track and field athlete. We see events unfold through the eyes of the little one, and Buzz Chung steals everyone's thunder in a role that encapsulates innocence, with that twinkle of mischief especially with his kleptomaniac ways. Newcover Aarif Lee also shines as the elder brother on whom hopes of a better life for his family hinges on, and Alex Law's narrative provides for that teenage romantic love with Evelyn Choi's Flora, who turns out to be someone from a different social class than Aarif (hey, it's a Victoria Peak address no less) which proves to be the chief obstacle for both to overcome.
And Alex Law's story packs plenty to keep you thoroughly and emotionally engaged throughout the 120 minute runtime, with subplots and themes revolving around the hardships that the working class face in that era of change, in a time steeped in corruption from all areas of society from the police to healthcare workers. I especially liked how Law primed the audience for the negative aspects of life then with the very subtle technique of mentioning how both sides of the law put pressure on legitimate businesses through the celebration of the mooncake festival, since we were treated to all things good such as the communal spirit stemming from close neighbours and relatives living on the same street ever willing to chip in, and share resources such as telephones and televisions.
The film encapsulates the look and feel, the music, and its attention to detail of the times is key to its success. There are moments big and small that just bring a smile to my face, be it the pop tunes of yesteryears, the identification of directors such as Ann Hui and others who pop up as supporting cast, or that smattering of the Shanghainese language that got retained in the dubbed version here, and some which left me heart-wrenched, such as when the family members have to band together to overcome a notorious natural disaster, and other difficulties that get thrown their way. As they say if Life gives you lemons, make lemonade, this family finds that will alone is sometimes never enough, although Mrs Law will have you believe otherwise through her earnestness in positive thinking. Don't be surprised too if you can identify with some of the moments and issues that get portrayed and brought up, and goes to show the superb storytelling craft that Alex Law had adopted to present his masterpiece.
Echoes of a Rainbow is now playing at limited screens, but please don't miss this just for the sake of watching the loudest blockbuster from Hollywood. It is the sincere films like these that need to be watched and appreciated, especially so when blessed with an excellent storyline, and with a myriad of characters all of whom you'll genuinely feel for, and be moved. This film gets my vote and is a definite shortlist to be amongst the best this year. The DVD will be out soon, which will mean a second, necessary viewing in its native Hong Kong language track. Highly recommended!
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