My Blade, My Life (1978)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-09-05
Summary: Pearl as Polly
Pearl seems to be having a go at becoming the new Polly Kuan here. Depending on who you believe, the great Poll was either already out of the film business or on the way out around 1982. Pearl, as lead actress and presenter, clearly has quite a lot of control over proceedings, but she doesn't overwhelm the other characters. Which is fortunate, because there are so many of them. Though not based on a Louis Cha novel, director/scriptwriter Chan Ming Wa is clearly inhabits the same landscape. Which inevitably means that there are at leats a dozen main characters plotting, counterplotting and shifting allegiances all over the place.

Worth noting is the number of actors credited. An astounding 87 names appear in the credits. Of course, there have been many HK film which have casts of hundreds at least, but very few have allowed so many to be named onscreen. For anyone so pedantic, I will say that I was not able to read many of the names, as they are in old-style writing and very blurry.

But is it any good, I hear you fume in utter frustration ? Well, I'm not sure. The Mandarin dialogue combined with no subtitles, and the incredibly large number of characters and complicated plot, make it awfully hard to follow even the broad sweep. That said, I was expecting a bit more action and a lot less talk.

Given the amount of control Pearl has over this film, I also expected her character to be a lot stronger and more important. She seems to allow villainous Ling Wan a large amount of the good bits.

On the good side, when the action starts, there is plenty of people leaping impossible distances, flying and swordfighting. There are also incredible psychedelic sets (one is a yin yang, split down the middle) with strong kindergarden colours.

This film is probably more weird than entertaining.
Reviewer Score: 7