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Truth Or Dare. Well, I'll give you the truth to start. This isn't a film that fulfills its potential as a script, although it is a good try.
TOD tells of six twenty-something flatmates whose lives thrive on the party they hold almost every night, and every time, the game Truth Or Dare is played. However, their real lives are far from thriving, each with their own failings. In a game, they are dared to write down what they want to achieve, and to achieve it in a year. Each wishes for anything from love, money or success, and we follow them in their paths to avoid the perils of failing their dares.
The script is witty and satirical in places, and all the actors, especially Candy Lo and Karena Lam, immerse themselves into their characters, generating some great on-screen chemistry. It is amazing that the plethora of stars do work well together. I'd even dare to say that since not all of them are your typical 'A'-list, it works even better. There are also plenty of scenes to laugh about, from the ridicule of the hysteria of mask-wearing in the SARS outbreak to a parody of Zhang Yimou's Hero, which all adds to the quirkiness of some of the characters.
However, the film does generally break down on the poor direction and editing of the film. I'm not saying that Barbara Wong is a bad director, mind you, and I can't claim that not having seen much of her work. But from my understanding after seeing the film that she is a documentary director, I can now understand where it goes wrong. TOD should have been filmed in a humorous, stylised way that should have reflected some of the unrealism of it given the comedy element. However, there is often too much grittiness with the ways scenes were shot, making them dramatic rather than comedic. The lack of flow from the almost non-existent score made me feel distinctly uneasy and bored at times. It was that feeling of telling a joke in the middle of a really serious moment.
However, for all the bad direction, the acting more than compensates for it. I'm already a believer that Karena Lam is one of HK's biggest talents, and Candy Lo probably gave the best performance as well. And I'll also add the blokes to the list as well.
Ultimately this ends up being only an average film because of the direction, which is a real shame because if you recut the scenes, I'm sure you could have ended up with a masterpiece. But it has done well, and it's not much of a dare to say, one to look out for if you've run out of ideas for a film to watch.
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