6.9/10
634
4 user 7 critic

Beyond Our Ken (2004)

Gung ju fuk sau gei (original title)
A month after Wai Ming broke up with Ken, she finds nude pictures of her on his website. To get back at him, she teams up with his new girlfriend.

Director:

Ho-Cheung Pang
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Gillian Chung ... Chan Wai Ching
Daniel Wu ... Ken
Höng Tao Höng Tao ... Shirley
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hin-Wai Au Hin-Wai Au ... Pub manager
Tyson Chak Tyson Chak ... Male teacher
Wai-Kee Cheung Wai-Kee Cheung ... Ken's Colleague
Wai-San Cheung Wai-San Cheung
Sui-man Chim ... Shirley's ex-boyfriend
Woon Ling Hau ... Auntie Seven
Ka-Fai Ho Ka-Fai Ho
Chet Lam ... Jaywalker
Wai-Hang Lau Wai-Hang Lau ... (as Benny Lau)
Yuen Yee Ng ... Ken's granny
Emme Wong Emme Wong
Jimmy Ga Lok Wong ... Policeman
Learn more

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Storyline

Shirley (Tao Hong) is a karaoke waitress who leads a perfectly normal love life with her fireman boyfriend Ken (Daniel Wu). But one day, she is confronted by Ken's ex-girlfriend Ching (Gillian Chung), who informs her that Ken has a dark side. Ching says that when they were a couple, Ken used to take nude photographs of her. But right after taking those photos, Ken dumped her and posted those photographs all over the internet. As a result, Ching lost her job as a teacher. Shirley initially doubts Ching's intentions, but she soon believes Ching and helps her sneak into Ken's apartment to destroy those photos which are stored in his computer. Fearing that Shirley may be led down the same path as Ching, together the women join hands to plot against Ken. But the truth is not as simple as it seems. Written by Making Film

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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User Reviews

 
One of the Most Enjoyable Art-House Movies In Existence
28 January 2009 | by ebossertSee all my reviews

The definition of "art-house" cinema is somewhat subjective, even though it's rather easily applied to specific movies. Some think that the term itself is obsolete, but it is a useful classification for those of us who watch "artsy" films as part of a greater cinematic portfolio. In any case, "Beyond Our Ken" was one of the first art-house movies that I fell in love with, and it's quite possibly my favorite – with the possible exception of "Green Tea" (2003). To be honest, the only reason I rented this was because it starred one of the Twins; and if a movie stars one of the Twins, then I simply need to watch it.

Gillian Chung plays a woman who struggles with the recent breakup with her boyfriend and enlists the help of his current girlfriend to assist her. This movie is surprisingly different and subtle in its portrayal of relationships. The vision proposed is very refreshing, taking a more cynical point-of-view that throws away all of the sickly sweet fluff that dominates romantic comedies. "Beyond Our Ken" feels exceptionally different from most Hong Kong films in terms of it's relentless artistry and stylistic elements. For example, the breakup scene near the beginning has a side view of the couple as they sit in a restaurant. The placement of a hand-held camera behind a window pane is a nice choice here because it makes the viewer feel like they are actually in the restaurant, glancing at the couple. Also note that the glass pane is colored, casting the boyfriend in a blue shade – perhaps a symbol of his coldness. The whole setup of this sequence smacks of outstanding film-making. Unlike some other art-house films that bathe in self-masturbatory pretentiousness, "Beyond Our Ken" observes a perfect control of creating motion picture art while avoiding meaningless patches of nothingness. Everything has a purpose.

Such is an expected result when the script is as tight and intelligent as it is here. One may not notice just how complex this film is until the final scene is played out in masterful fashion. If there's one particular type of movie that impresses me, it's one that subtly references events to one another throughout. An event or image that seems inconsequential near the beginning will be accentuated by a later event. Such tactics will fly right over your head if you're not paying attention, but that's what makes these East Asian art-house movies so entertaining and unique. Some viewers may scoff at the condensed structure of the finale, but it's really quite brilliant after you put all of the pieces together.

The acting is excellent. Tao Hong is a shamelessly underrated actress who can light up the screen with the best in the business. Check out "Life Show" (2002) if you don't believe me. The decision to cast such a fantastic actress beside a developing talent has major advantages. Gillian Chung is a pop star who broke into acting as a marketing gimmick, but that doesn't stop her from contributing a respectable, breakout performance in "Beyond Our Ken." I'm sure that Hong's presence brought Gillian's game to the next level, if not by merely bringing a Mainland style that is somewhat different from your typical Hong Kong starlet. Daniel Wu is a hit-or-miss actor, but he shines nicely here as the ex-boyfriend that every teenage girl would love to hate.

Ho-Cheung Pang is arguably the best director in Hong Kong today (with the possible exception of Johnnie To). His talent for crafting spectacular art-house films is the most obvious reason for granting him such praise. "Isabella" (2006) was a fantastic, highly intelligent drama and "Exodus" (2007) was a blackly comic piece that was enjoyable despite some pacing issues. However, "Beyond Our Ken" is his most amazing work because it succeeds at being highly entertaining on a minute-by-minute basis. Only a truly magnificent director could possibly construct the "key making mission" scene, which is amongst my most favorite sequences in any drama. The coordination of the camera movements and scoring are really great as we watch our two protagonists maneuver through a convenience store in an attempt to complete the mission. I never knew teenage girl angst could be so much fun.

As a final note, we never got stuff like this during the "Golden Age." So maybe it's time to stop parroting the "Hong Kong cinema is dead" mantra and simply enjoy gems like this. An industry cutback in film production has some advantages. "Beyond Our Ken" proves that in convincing fashion.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin

Release Date:

11 November 2004 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Beyond Our Ken See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$475,781
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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