6.4/10
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1 user 1 critic

The Story of My Son (1990)

Ngoi di sai gaai (original title)
Li Tzu-Liang is returning to Hong Kong with the ashes of his wife. He now has to bring up his two sons on his own. Though he is quite well-off, he his plagued by debts and when he loses a ... See full summary »

Director:

Johnnie To
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Cast

Credited cast:
Kong Fong ... (as Kang Fang)
Kun-Hsuan Huang Kun-Hsuan Huang ... Jian
Damian Lau
Sze Kei Lee ... (as Sikei Lee)
Man-Tat Ng
Yat-Fei Wong
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Storyline

Li Tzu-Liang is returning to Hong Kong with the ashes of his wife. He now has to bring up his two sons on his own. Though he is quite well-off, he his plagued by debts and when he loses a large sum of money betting on horses, he has to turn to dangerous loan-sharks. Here starts a spiral which gets him and his two sons deeper and deeper into trouble. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Drama

User Reviews

Effective Hongkong melodrama by Johnny To
26 January 2007 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

THE STORY OF MY SON (Johhny To - Hongkong 1990).

Seen at the IFF Rotterdam, 25 January 2007.

Social drama from the prolific duo Johnny To and long-time companion Wai Ka-Fai, better known for their Hongkong crime films. The story is based on the Italian film INCOMPRESSO (1966) by Luigi Comencini, reset in late '80s Hongkong about a widower (Damian Lau) who is trying to raise his two young sons on his own. He's mostly preoccupied with his work and has gambling debts. He gets himself into serious trouble when he loses a huge sum of money on the horse-races and turns to some dangerous loan-sharks in order to repay his debts, which leads to a dramatic downward spiral dragging his two sons with him in the process.

In many ways this is run-off-the-mill Hongkong drama, but it's still surprisingly effective, if a bit overly melodramatic at times, with the same music playing every other scene to underline the emotional impact of the events. There's also a bit too much focus on the interaction between the two kids who are something like 5 and 12 years old. The younger kid is very cute, but I would prefer to have seen a little more from the father, Damian Lau, who is quite good in the leading role. It seemed that half the screen time was made up of the two sons ramblings when their father was away. Perhaps a little more than the two young leads can handle. Most other characters consist of little more than stereotypes, but - as mentioned - Damian Lau is very convincing, as are the two kids, and that's enough to make it work. The plot is told in a simple straight-forward fashion, quite an absorbing story, but don't expect a deep multi-layered approach. The violent resolution is a bit over the top and slightly out of tune with the rest of the film, but it's not unlike your average Hongkong crime flick. So perhaps, it was to be expected.

Camera Obscura --- 7/10


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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Ai de shi jie See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shaw Brothers See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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