A Fishy Story (1989)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2005-06-29
Summary: Maggie at her most beautiful. A decent rom/com
The set design, cinematography and costumes are excellent. It is a beautiful movie to look at with some camera work that calls attention to itself, such as shooting from deep shadow into bright sunlight with figures moving from in the distance moving from being highlighted to silhouette.

Basically this is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Hong Kong style, set in the late 1960s as the Cultural Revolution spills into the streets of the Crown Colony. Chanting crowds waving Mao’s Little Red Book pop up constantly and, with the police who try to contain the demonstrators, are an essential part of the story.

“A Fishy Story” is short on plot. It is very straightforward with only the most necessary and obvious turns, but as in any successful romantic comedy/drama, the audience likes and is rooting for the protagonists. However flawed, naive or self-centered they are, we still want things to work for them and overcome all the difficulties thrown in the path of true love. The ending is Romantic with a capital R and is an appropriate pay off for the psychic investment of the audience.

As always the camera loves Maggie Cheung, but here she is shot and lighted like a Renaissance Madonna. I would pay to see a movie of Maggie reading the Shanghai phone book in Slobovian, but she looks truly exceptional in this movie.

Kenny Bee is excellent as Kung, a confused cab driver who simply wants to own and drive a licensed taxi. Once he runs into Maggie’s Huang his life get more complicated than he could have imagined possible.

For those who like romantic comedies, although this one has more than a few dark moments and, of course, for fans of Maggie Cheung.

Josephine Koo is terrific playing a character who is hard to like and Carrie Ng is decorative. Lam Chung looks like he is having a great time hamming it up as the craven movie director who takes advantage of the innocent Huang. All that is missing is a moustache to curl and he would be the complete bad guy.
Reviewer Score: 7