Reviewed by: bkasten
Karena and Ekin...again?
Reviewer Score: 10
That's the ultimate question, actually...
And it's actually a good thing. Ekin Chen has, like his contemporary Aaron Kwok, in this reviewer's estimation, matured into a great HK actor with real screen presence. Ekin brings much more than just his hair to the screen. And Karena, again, is really well-suited in portraying the innocent and naive character she plays here. The chemistry here is perfect.
The film itself is a reverse-chronologically vignetted, Ivy Ho scripted, existential art piece with a particular focus on cinematography--replete with long dwelling shots on subjects, and pensive expressions from the actors. And over the top the latter may appear at times, the story is rather all too true to life...which reveals the deep darkness therein. And indeed, some may find this to be the film's undoing. It's all too real.
Those that prefer thoughtful darker journeys will find the experience rewarding. I found it to be profound. I have, myself, repeatedly experienced much of what the film portrays, as well as what the films leaves hidden.
In the end, I find that the best cinematic experiences are those that leaves the viewer with many, and sometimes conflicting, messages and explanatory options.
This is also one of only a very few films in my life that I want back and immediately re-watched. And I will likely watch it again.
In summary: a truly pleasant surprise--particularly given that I went in to this knowing and assuming nothing.
(OK, and let me admit that I loved "It Had to Be You")