8 July 2007 | chengwinghei
The heart and soul of Hong Kong...
As we pass the 10th anniversary of the political coup d'etat/long awaited return to motherland (depending on your POV), inevitably there will be numerous movies that will have something to say about what went down these last ten years. And what a ride it was! Seen through the eyes of strong-willed Joy (played by G. Leung) and her eccentric assistant Tung (played by F. Sit), it chronicles their exploits in the real estate industry, and especially the men that come and go in their lives.
Music/film veteran George Lam plays the real estate executive and husband of Joy, who struggles to find his place in society as the Anglo-American commercial-political clique is replaced with a Chinese Communist one. Kevin Cheng plays the young idealistic rookie doctor, brother-in-law of Joy. Yuan Nie plays the young, debonair, Chinese communist CEO who replaces George Lam's post because of his connections up north. Hins Cheung plays the shy, admirer of Tung who unfortunately is stuck in a job that is not terribly macho. Shiu Hung Hui plays Joy's extremely money-minded father in law. Eddy Ko plays a member of the director's board at where Joy works. Kitty Yuen plays the relentless multi-level marketer who's "friends" with everybody at Joy's place of work. Hacken Lee plays a surprise role.
First the problems: there is the mis-casting of Lam as spouse of Joy, as Lam is old enough to be her father, and Leung has no marriage experience in real life. The gap between the acting skills of the full-time actors (Kevin Cheng) and crossover pop artists (Sit) are pretty obvious. The story can get a bit moralistic at times and political bias can be alleged, but no matter, since Hollywood films are generally critical of the government too. Those acquianted with recent events of Hong Kong will easily predict what will become of the various "functional characters". Hardened, cynical types may find the story a bit sentimental at times. Some symbols of historical events, such as news footage of the stock market, may have been used too repetitively without any imagination or subtlety to the point of being hackneyed.
But overall, the cast's spirited performance (after all, they HAVE all experienced what happened the last 10 years) will make you laugh, make you cry as you recall the challenges Hong Kong has faced. This is a film you could show foreigners to help them understand really matters to citizens of "the fragrant harbor".