Reviewed by: Inner Strength
It's because of films like this that the Hong Kong film industry has been able to keep going. This is one of the best examples of film making I have ever seen.
I think it would be pointless writing up on the story, because I think by now everyone will know this story, based on the novel by Cao Yu, which has over the years been turned into countless plays, operas, television series, and several full length films. But for those who have not heard of this story (I think most people will know it) its basically a little like a Chinese version of Romeo & Juliet, not really like that but that is the best comparison I can think of. It is one of the most emotionally strong stories I have ever read, and this film is the best adaptation of the story I have ever seen. I have seen 2 other versions of the film, the one done in the late eighties, and an earlier one. This '96 production is the best though out of those. I will watch the 80's one again soon and write a review on that, but I will not be able to do the earlier one as I'm not sure which one of the 50's or 60's one I saw.
Still, as far as Chinese drama films, I think this has been and will remain my all time favorite. Wong Ho Yi should be bowed down to, because of his excellent adaptation of this story, as he not only directed it, but also starred as the main character. The rest of the cast is also excellent, Elizabeth Lee, Gigi Wong, Cheung Yeung Foo and others. Also, considering the length of the story, its amazing how Wong Ho Yee has been able to make a film version at only 85 minutes, whilst still having all the story packed in without it looking messy or rushing. A flawless film, it really is.
If you have never seen a film version of this story before, then without a doubt this is the one you should see.