7.6/10
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46 user 63 critic

Days of Being Wild (1990)

Ah fei zing zyun (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 15 December 1990 (Hong Kong)
A man tries to find out who his real mother is after the woman who raised him tells him the truth.

Director:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)

Writers:

Jeffrey Lau, Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)
17 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Cheung ... Yuddy
Maggie Cheung ... Su Li-zhen
Andy Lau ... Tide
Carina Lau ... Leung Fung-ying
Rebecca Pan ... Rebecca (as Tik-Wa Poon)
Jacky Cheung ... Zeb
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Chow Mo-wan (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Danilo Antunes Danilo Antunes ... Rebecca's Lover
Mei-Mei Hung Mei-Mei Hung ... The Amah
Ling-Ling Hung ... Nurse
Tita Muñoz Tita Muñoz ... Yuddy's Mother
Alicia Alonzo ... Housekeeper
Elena Lim So Elena Lim So ... Hotel Manageress
Maritoni Fernandez ... Hotel Maid
Angela Ponos Angela Ponos ... Prostitute
Learn more

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Archival footage from classic Hong Kong films set to music.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong

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Storyline

Set in 1960, the film centres on the young, boyishly handsome Yuddy, who learns from the drunken ex-prostitute who raised him that she is not his real mother. Hoping to hold onto him, she refuses to divulge the name of his real birth mother. The revelation shakes Yuddy to his very core, unleashing a cascade of conflicting emotions. Two women have the bad luck to fall for Yuddy. One is a quiet lass named Su Lizhen who works at a sports arena, while the other is a glitzy showgirl named Mimi. Perhaps due to his unresolved Oedipal issues, he passively lets the two compete for him, unable or unwilling to make a choice. As Lizhen slowly confides her frustration to a cop named Tide, he falls for her. The same is true for Yuddy's friend Zeb, who falls for Mimi. Later, Yuddy learns of his birth mother's whereabouts and heads out to the Philippines. Written by van_whistler@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the love scenes in the film took 57 takes to complete. See more »

Goofs

When Tide checks into the hotel, the hotel manageress hands him the key to Room 206. However, in the next scene, Tide uses the key to enter Room 204. This, however, may not be so much a 'goof' as another recurrence of the number '2046' seen so often in Wong Kar-Wai's films. See more »

Quotes

Yuddy: Hey, have you heard of a kind of bird...
Tide: [interrupting] The kind without legs, right? This kind of nonsense can only fool the girls!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Still Love You After All These (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Jungle Drums (Cantonese cover)
Composed by E. Lecuona & J. Cacabas
Lyrics by Sharon Chung
Performed by Anita Mui
See more »

User Reviews

Going into orbit in the city that never sleeps..
30 September 2010 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

I like movies where outcast characters drift through the margins of life in search for not simply meaning, this is a grand word and drifters don't have much time for grandstanding, but a small warm corner they can call their own, and there's a lot of drifting in Days of Being Wild, literal and figurative. This is one of those great movies that speak of what it means to be young and alienated, not in the angsty living-room sense of the term, but in the form of real tangible problems, the ones you face alone in the cheap room of a fleabag hotel or in an empty warehouse in the hours after work. Days of Being Wild to me is like a procession of life, in the small hours of the night, filled with beauty and pain.

Now when all the normal people with steady jobs and a steady family have gone to sleep, all those still hanging in the balance of existence come out and fly beneath the cold street lamps. Now and then their wings touch, for a fleeting moment, and then they're alone again, flying in circles around the street lamps, like a moth instinctively drawn to something that is bright and warm. This reminds me of the line spoken by Warren Oates in that quintessential American movie about alienation and drifting, Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop: "if I'm not grounded soon, I'm gonna go into orbit". Hollywood rarely understands this type of character. Only someone who has never experienced that directionless orbit can glorify the drifting. The characters here need to be grounded soon. They need human warmth and affection and to know that there's a place they can come back at night and call it home.

We usually think of a drifter as someone who sets off into the desert, into a bleak barren landscape, it's probably easier that way. It takes a step back to look at life around us, as we wait for the subway in crowd, to realize a drifter can be a drifter among people. American film noir treats the city as an 'asphalt jungle', while for some reason Asians seem to tap into the melancholy of the 'asphalt desert'. I'm thinking films like Johnnie To's PTU and Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog. This is one of those films. One of the characters is a cop who does a latenight patrol, always wandering around empty streets by himself. He confesses a little later, that he wanted to be a sailor. The metaphor is poignant.

But at the same time Wong-Kar Wai says a lot of things about compulsion, that driving monomania that sets these people into orbit, and disassociates them from the world. I like how all this plays out in a 50's Hong Kong of cold blue lights and wet streets reflecting neon lights from a distant shop sign. It's not Chungking Express yet, and I'm glad that it's not, Chungking is a vibrant colorful place, and this one is a world that begins a corner down the street from it, where the bustle of city life, where the other people live their lives, is but a faint echo. In fact, until the movie washes up in the Phillipines to get involved in a brawl and take the night train out of the world, we hardly see any people outside the six characters, the small birds whose wings touch now and then.

This is raw and touching and real, like the best of gritnik cinema done by a romantic. Sam Peckinpah was another big romantic of gritnik cinema, but his romance was masculine and fatalist, he was speaking about the ends of things. Wong-Kar Wai tells us about love and obsession, and what it takes for something to begin. Good stuff.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

Hong Kong

Release Date:

15 December 1990 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Days of Being Wild See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,090, 21 November 2004

Gross USA:

$146,310

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,101,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

In-Gear Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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