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tCK (1967)
Waste Not Our Youth

Reviewed by: duriandave
Date: 10/03/2005

You know this is going to be a great youth film when the movie starts with a school bell ringing and swarms of youngsters running out of class and hopping into their cars. English words and phrases like "barbecue," "water ski," and "let's go" and a rocking Cantonese version of "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" are associated with the spoiled rich girl (played by Connie Chan) and her all-night partying friends. Lui Kei, playing the son of the family's butler, is the voice of reason and filial responsibility and keeps a distance from the selfish behavior of Connie and her friends.

But as Stephen Teo has written, the film is refreshingly undidactic. This can be seen when a party is held to try to bring Connie out of her trauma-induced amnesia. The party song from the beginning of the film is reprised, but this time Connie's parents are dancing along, as well the maids and the butler! The family that parties together stays together.

Waste Not Our Youth is finely crafted with nice tracking shots and well-orchestrated group scenes. The editing is noteworthy, especially in the first party scene with its quick cuts capturing the rhythm of youth. And best of all, the film is in glorious Kowloon-Scope. The print is for the most part pretty pristine, except unfortunately for the final ten minutes, which seems like it was taken from a faded, full-screen television dub and then cropped again on the top and bottom to create a fake Scope aspect ratio...urghh!

But there is one outstanding scene that is reason enough to check out the film. After Connie loses her mind, she is committed to a hospital. Lui Kei and her family visit her. What happens next is one of the best ever crazy performances. Connie swings from laughter to tears, from child to adult; sings and dances her way through a medley of popular songs; and finally goes beserk, beating the crap out of half-a-dozen hospital attendants trying to subdue her! Totally amazing!

Reviewer Score: 9