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常在我心 (2001)
Funeral March

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 07/19/2010
Summary: Excellent character-driven film

Eason Chan gives one of the best performances of his career in this heartfelt drama. He plays a funeral director who helps a despaired Charlene Choi regain purpose in life and successfully fight cancer. Yet for all his inspiration, he seems detached and even lifeless throughout the movie, even when her client and friend won the battle of her life. Could it be that he has a secret burried inside?

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 12/26/2002

Had this one lying around unwatched for a long time, and finally managed to force myself to watch it, only to be very pleasantly surprised! I was expecting a depressing and emotionally manipulative tearjerker, and instead found this to be a smart and at times quite charming little movie that dealt with a potentially rather depressing subject matter (death) in a refreshing manner.

Eason Chan (in a surprisingly restrained role) plays a funeral director asked by a girl who has cancer to arrange her funeral after she's dead. The girl is played by one of the two members of the Cantopop duo TWINS (I always mix up the two, so don't ask me which one it is) in what I can only call a wonderful performance. Eason's character spends time with the sick girl and soon starts to reawaken her enjoyment of life, only to have his caring dedication stopped short by a tragic and unexpected turn of events.

The film could have been utterly melodramatic, but instead opts for a quiet and subdued approach that works very well. The screen chemistry between the two leads is wonderful, helped by a well developed script devoid of the usual tear-jerker manipulations. I truly cared about the fate of these two people and found myself thoroughly engaged.


Reviewed by: mejones
Date: 03/22/2002
Summary: One of the best movies of 2001!

This is a great movie for anyone who's into the romatic tear jerkers! Really, I don't think I've seen such a great HK film in a long time! Eason plays a funeral director, and this girl, played by Charlene Choi, comes to him and asks him to plan her funeral. She picks him after kind of "crashing" several funerals and watching the proceedings. She notices how Eason handles all of the details with great care and figures he's the right man for the job. You see, she has colon cancer and refuses to have a surgery that might save her life b/c of some family problems (the details are revealed very gradually). Over the course of time Eason slowly and quietly gets her to take her meds, find small reasons to keep living till she finally agrees to have the surgery. It's a HK film, so it has some unexpected twists and turns, but no huge melodrama which frequently ruins a character driven story like this. It's directed by Joe Ma, who did the Feel 100% movies, but I think it's the writing and the performances of the two leads that really make the movie. Ma wrote some fantastic films, like The Golden Girls, Big Bullet, War Named Desire, as well as producing such GREATs as Bullets Over Summer, Juliet in Love and Horror Hotline. Eason Chan, who fequently plays kind of wacky characters (Lavender, Comic King) turns in an excellent performance as a very kind, gentle, and compassionate person. I believe this is only Charlene Choi's second film, but if her perfomance hadn't been good, the film wouldn't have worked. Did I mention how much I cried? a LOT! I HIGHLY recommend it!

Reviewed by: RIDER
Date: 03/09/2002
Summary: DON'T LIKE IT

Yee has colon cancer, which could be easily removed with surgery, but in the beginning, she chose not to have the procedure done... I guess she just wanted to give up. She then plans her own funeral and that's when she meets Duan (the funeral director). He takes a trip with her to the U.S. to visit her (deceased) mother's grave. She also meets this one guy there in the U.S. which she asks to go back to Hong Kong with her, but they never mention who he is or what his past is with Yee (brother, boyfriend, etc.).
Later, Duan tells her to go through with the surgery so that she can outlive her stepmother (whom Yee dislikes very much)... and become healthy and beautiful (so that her stepmother would become jealous). Yee decides she wants to go through with the surgery after all.
Anyway, Yee goes through with the surgery, which they never showed the surgery part (day of surgery, post surgery, recovery, etc.)... it just kinda skipped to the "already healed" part. She then falls in love with Duan. Which was the part I don't get... cause they never had any kind of relationship other than his going to the U.S. with her and even then, they had almost nothing going on. She starts calling him everyday and the whole time he tries to avoid her. She even went to the hospital where he worked to meet him. It wasn't til towards the end that Yee finds out Duan has stomach cancer and at that point she remembers all the things he did and said in the past. She stays with him at the hospital but never gets to say good-bye.

I didn't really like the movie at all. There was hardly any feeling from one character to another. And even the character's struggle to fight the cancer was not very convincing. There was not much of a story or even a struggle for anything.