Andy Lau and Charlie Yeung, with Charlene Choi supporting, in a nicely executed romantic tragedy whose story rather gratuitously stretches credibility just short of the point of unacceptablity...
Reviewer Score: 8
...that point being the denounment...where we see two Andys on-screen...and even Andy fans like this reviewer and evirei have to sigh...
So while the details of the story border on spoilage, and are relatively standard "tried and true" fodder, they really are secondary to the style, execution, and performances.
Despite jealous comments to the contrary by Zhang Ziyi, who while singularly beautiful, is not remotely close to being a great actor; Andy Lau--far from beautiful though he may be--truly IS a great actor. He has screen presence, and moments of world class greatness through the entirely of his long, varied, and distinguished TV, movie, and singing career. Any performance with Andy Lau Tak-Wah will have at least some redeeming value. This film is not an exception to that rule; nor is it a standout performance either.
Charlene, in a supporting role, is her usual cuddly and adorable, yet whiny and annoying, self. And as is frequently the case, her performance is altogether disposable.
Fortunately, this story was just the sort of melancholic story and role perfect for Charlie and her dour demeanor...and indeed her capping/closing scene was as gut wrenchingly believeable as anything...and it still lingers with the reviewer weeks after viewing. I truly believed her performance. I cared. I cried. What better accolade can be given to an actor?
One could have said something like this 7 or 8 years ago (right before Yeung left the film industry to persue a business), but Charlie Yeung's HK film career appears to be nearing a crossroads. She is one or two films away from finding her place...and finding greatness.
Here's to ya, Char! I am your fan(s).