Metade Fumaca (1999)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2007-10-31
Summary: Exploring human qualities
I agree with the first review that this is a small gem. Backed by competent acting, it's a story that explores our human qualities. It's about the things in our mind that we like to hold on to - memories, faith, hope, and imagination. The best things take place in these states of mind, where we go to escape reality.

This film has a special place in my cinematic experience. I watched it at the time of my adolescence, and it was one of the films that matured my understanding of films as well as life in general. It was the right film at the right time for me.

The acting is generally competent. Eric Tsang is fantastic as usual. He is very human in this film, engaging the audience through his imperfections, despite which we can't help but root for him. Sandra Ng, Anthony Wong, and others make welcoming cameos. Nicholas Tse proves he's more than the typical bubblegum pop star in interesting films like this and Time and Tide (1999), though he pales against Uncle Fatty.

The film gets dreamy and enigmatic in the climax. It's also the scene I remember the most. It has become a piece of my own memory to treasure. Another highlight is the flashback with Sam Lee (badass to the bone) and Stephen Fung (what's the hell is this pretty boy doing here?). The way they make their can't-take-my-eyes-off-you gaze upon each other is more badass than romantic. The low point of the movie is the shooting star scene, which feels contrived and cheesy.

I've seen 2 films from director Riley Yip: this one and Just One Look. Both are very good. It's regrettable that he's no longer active in filmmaking.
Reviewer Score: 8