Ah-Sheng is a baker. He loves singing a lot although he sings poorly. For a long time, he has been thinking about participating in a singing contest program on the cable TV. One day, he ... See full summary »
Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »
When Wan (Kimi Hsia) returns home from Taipei with both a failed modeling career, and an enormous amount of debt, she finds that misfortune has also befallen her family's restaurant, which ... See full summary »
"Door Latch" and his friend followed the KMT army and moved to Taiwan in 1949. They conceal their real name and get many trials and afflictions to adapt the circumstances in that special ... See full summary »
12-year-old Mei grew up with her grandparents in the mountains, but now lives with her parents in the city. Her parents constantly fight and she ignored at home. Mei withdraws into her own world and imagination.
A paralyzed and hopeless Hong Kong man meets his new Filipino domestic worker who has put her dream on hold and came to the city to earn a living. These two strangers live under the same ... See full summary »
Oliver Siu Kuen Chan
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong,
It is an unusual day for the remote and isolated Desire Village. A mysterious Taoist priest brings a magical equipment that can erase one's memory. Since then, all the villagers have ... See full summary »
Autobiographical story about the life of a poor family in the Taiwanese countryside during the 1940s and 1950s as the Japanese rule of the island ends and nationalist forces of Kwomintang arrive when the Communists take the mainland.
Having seen quite a few Taiwanese movies, I was interested in seeing how the films of the director Chen Yuxun compared to those of Tsai Mingliang or Hou Xiaoxian. 'Tropical Fish' compares rather favorably. It is much lighter than the works of his elders, and is very funny in places, though in no way a shallow, predictable potboiler.
The plot, without giving too much away, deals with a mediocre student about to face national exams, who is caught up in a kidnapping. Needless to say, the kidnapping does not quite work out as planned.
The impending exams loom large as the story progresses in a way that is both humorous and perhaps also critical of how these tests are of such paramount importance in determining education and career possibilities. There also seems to be some contrasting of Mandarin speakers and Taiwanese speakers which follows class distinctions quite closely. I quite enjoyed hearing Taiwanese spoken in such an earthy and piquant style. I hope Taiwanese directors continue to support its use.
The plot moves forward in a controlled manner, avoiding predictability, and (with a few musical interludes) towards a quite satisfying conclusion.
Having just the right mix of humour and social reality, I really enjoyed this one, and am looking forward to seeing the director's next film, Love Go Go.
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