(2008)
Tea Fight


Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 04/21/2009
Summary: tea is just tea...

kei yagi (teruyuki kagawa) has turned his back on tea. a descendant of a man who travelled to china and became embroiled between the battle between the men and women who had their own special golden teas: when the golden tea of the men inspired violence, they wiped out the females and their golden tea.

generations later, kei, the owner of a tea shop and a mean tea maker in his own right, turned his back on the golden tea which had been passed down through his family line; blaming its curse for the death of his wife. now, mikiko (erika toda), kei's daughter, is showing an interest in tea and, in particular, how the curse of the golden tea can be broken, if she battles against the male golden tea in a tea fight! and so mikiko sets off to taiwan, to seek the male golden tea, which is traded by the unscrupulous yang (vic chow), who runs a black market tea trade...

well, with this taiwanese / japanese co-production, wang ye-ming makes his directorial debut and creates a fun, slightly absurd, drama, with elements of myth and fantasy gently woven in to its fabric. the film is a pleasure to watch, taking the ceremony and philosophy of tea preparation and drinking to an, almost, abstracted extreme, with a knowingly playful sensibility.

the film looks great, from it's animated introduction, idyllic portrayal of kyoto and the contrast of an urban, cosmopolitan taipei. then, there's the tea: with a variety of ceremony being shown, i don't think i've ever been as thirsty for a cup of pale, golden jasmine tea...

teruyuki kagawa and erika toda are solid, whilst boy band star vic chow puts in a good shift. it was also nice to see eric tsang crop up, with chang chun-ning, yoshihiko hosoda and jin shi-jye providing solid support.

good stuff...