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不脫襪的人 (1989)
A Fishy Story

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 04/04/2011
Summary: on tuesdays i take a cup of tea...

it is hong kong in the late sixties and a time of some social unrest, with anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism riots springing up. for kung (kenny bee), this isn't an issue; he's more focused on driving his unlicensed car, dreaming of owning an official taxi and finding himself at odds with a situation which has arisen with one of his wealthy regulars, mrs ku (josephine koo). however, when huang (maggie cheung), an aspirational stalet, moves into the apartment beneath his, kung's life might just get a little more complicated...

i miss maggie cheung. there seemed to be good decade or more where she was a regular fixture in my (cinematic) life; now, i only get to see her in old movies and it seems to be more infrequently that i watch one of those which i haven't already seen. any how, for fans of miss cheung, this film is a bit of a treat as it is lit and filmed rather beautifully, whilst she is dressed up in a wardrobe which must've made a significant dent in the budget, especially when coupled with the numerous hair styles she seems to sport. but, besides her looks, one can also enjoy her effortless transitions between the comedic, dramatic, melancholic and romantic elements of the film.

opposite maggie is kenny bee, who despite not having as fancy clothes to wear, does an equally good job. he has a good rapport with maggie and their scenes and the development of their characters are really the highlight of the film, almost making you forget the dreadful scenes of exposition which are thrown in every now and again to advance the narrative. sure, there's a couple of good scenes which don't involve conversations between maggie and kenny, or kenny and josephine koo (who is also great in this small supporting role), but there's some stinkers, which i'm happy to push from my mind.

enjoyable, with some really good scenes, but a couple of minor flaws to keep it from being a bona fide classic.

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 11/11/2007
Summary: Great photography, but the movie is crap

Plagued by superficial overacting, this movie itself is mediocre. Too bad the charming cinematography and production design couldn't find better content. This is a perfect movie to watch muted and keep your focus on the classical Hollywood-esque visuals, especially with Kenny Bee going off on the world every 2 minutes.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 04/04/2006
Summary: Very pleasant feelgood comedy/romance

Would-be actress Maggie Cheung shares an apartment building with Kenny Bee. They meet one day when she walks in on him in the toilet (twice !), and an odd sort of relationship begins. Maggie's ambition is frustrated at every turn. Kenny, seeing her reaching boiling point, invites her to join him on the roof. There, they wait for a plane to fly over (they're under the flight path), then they scream their heads off.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 06/29/2005
Summary: Maggie at her most beautiful. A decent rom/com

The set design, cinematography and costumes are excellent. It is a beautiful movie to look at with some camera work that calls attention to itself, such as shooting from deep shadow into bright sunlight with figures moving from in the distance moving from being highlighted to silhouette.

Basically this is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Hong Kong style, set in the late 1960s as the Cultural Revolution spills into the streets of the Crown Colony. Chanting crowds waving Mao’s Little Red Book pop up constantly and, with the police who try to contain the demonstrators, are an essential part of the story.

“A Fishy Story” is short on plot. It is very straightforward with only the most necessary and obvious turns, but as in any successful romantic comedy/drama, the audience likes and is rooting for the protagonists. However flawed, naive or self-centered they are, we still want things to work for them and overcome all the difficulties thrown in the path of true love. The ending is Romantic with a capital R and is an appropriate pay off for the psychic investment of the audience.

As always the camera loves Maggie Cheung, but here she is shot and lighted like a Renaissance Madonna. I would pay to see a movie of Maggie reading the Shanghai phone book in Slobovian, but she looks truly exceptional in this movie.

Kenny Bee is excellent as Kung, a confused cab driver who simply wants to own and drive a licensed taxi. Once he runs into Maggie’s Huang his life get more complicated than he could have imagined possible.

For those who like romantic comedies, although this one has more than a few dark moments and, of course, for fans of Maggie Cheung.

Josephine Koo is terrific playing a character who is hard to like and Carrie Ng is decorative. Lam Chung looks like he is having a great time hamming it up as the craven movie director who takes advantage of the innocent Huang. All that is missing is a moustache to curl and he would be the complete bad guy.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mehaul
Date: 03/25/2002

Pass on this weak romance. No chemistry develops between the leads.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 02/05/2002
Summary: Goofy name, but not a goofy movie

From his outward appearance one might take Anthony Chan for a buffoon, and certainly not expect him to be an assured and skillful director. After watching WHEN FORTUNE SMILES and A FISHY STORY in one weekend I am quite convinced that this is actually the case, however. Whilst WFS showed his skill for comedy, AFS shows at least equal aptitude for drama. The movie is set in Hong Kong in the 60's, where a naive young starlet (Maggie Cheung) arrives in the city convinced that fortune and fame is about to fall in her lap. She moves into the appartment below down and out cabbie Kenny Bee, and by the fact of sharing a door they are forced to interact. The backdrop to all of this is a series of strikes, riots and general social unrest that could best be summarised as "troubled times". The two influence each other to grow, and support each other when times get tough. It's quite a bleak movie overall, not a fluffy romance by any stretch of the imagination.

What makes the movie work so well is very strong characters for both Maggie and Kenny, and superb performances from each. Kenny Bee is especially good from the beginning, and Maggie grows into her role as the character moves from beautiful airhead to somebody a little more worldly-wise and world-weary. The script is also fresh and intelligent, and the direction and pacing top notch. Another one of those quality movies saddled with a goofy name... recommended viewing!

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: ksbutterbox
Date: 11/20/2001
Summary: Wonderful Romantic Comedy/Drama!!

If you're as crazy about Maggie Cheung as I am ..this is a must see! She won Best Actress for this in 1989 and you'll see why. Pivotal movie for her career, just like Centre Stage/Actress movie was. She shows her wide range of emotions like no other movie she has ever made. Kenny Bee is also at his best. Plus, what ever happened to Josephine Koo? She also shines as well.Taiseng still has this I think, so go for it!

Reviewed by: Moro Turkey
Date: 11/09/2000

This is an excellent romance that starts out lighthearted and funny but actually manages to generate real suspense by the end. Kenny Bee and Maggie Cheung are both great.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A troubled romance set against the backdrop of thepolitically-inspired riots that swept Hong Kong in 1967. The central couple are neighbors in a Kowloon City tenement, situated right under the flight path into Hong Kong's airport. He drives an unlicensed taxi, she is a go-getting movie actress. Just as they begin to realize how much they need each other, the riots tear them apart. A sensitive drama that moves to a searing climax.

[Reviewed by Rim Films Catalog]