Cheng Cong, the matriarch of a wealthy Shanghainese family in Hong Kong, is financing the production of a new play in Hong Kong's venerable City Hall. The play is Two Sisters, a retro ...
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Oliver Siu Kuen Chan
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong
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Cheng Cong, the matriarch of a wealthy Shanghainese family in Hong Kong, is financing the production of a new play in Hong Kong's venerable City Hall. The play is Two Sisters, a retro melodrama in the vein of Tennessee Williams, written and directed by the trans woman Ouyang An. As the two sisters of the title, the production will star Yuan Xiuling (a stage veteran making a comeback five years after retiring from the theatre, and one year after the death of her faithless husband Cheng Jun - who was Cheng Cong's younger brother) and He Yuwen (a smart movie actress making her stage debut, who happens to have nursed a career-long rivalry with her co-star). The production is scheduled to have its first night in one week's time. The run-up to the first night is eventful. Yuan Xiuling has been left financially embarrassed by her late husband's apparent failure to provide for her, and worries where she will live and how she will pay for her son Yuan's boarding-school fees in England. She has...
I'm surprised that no one has written about this wonderful film yet. Set in a close time frame of a few days before the premiere of a new stage play, the film explores the relationship between the two female stars playing sisters who mutually dislike each other for reasons we are only guessing (at the beginning). Beside the daily bickering of the two ladies we also learn about the ones close to them and the general frenzy of the theater people before the opening night.
At the beginning of the film you get the picture that the elder of the two stars was for some years in semi-retirement and this would be her comeback. The younger one seems to have become famous through appearing in movies and now wants to show off on the stage too. The sympathy is with the elder and the antipathy towards the other seems to have something to do with her career. The fact that she is a widow also is an important part of the story.
The younger actress appears to be drawing more attention from the press, she seems to be eager to show that she is the better actress and even tries to meddle with the text to get more out for her role.
What I so much like about the film lies in the word "seems." Nothing is really the way as we pictured it at the beginning. While we get more and more facts about the two of them the sympathy starts the become more balanced between them. Beautifully done!
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