Bao jie qing qing
Hong Kong, 1996
directed, written and produced by Ray Leung [Poon-Hing?]
screenplay: Wong Sa-Fai, Au Kin-Cheong, Hsu Jen-Tu
cinematography: Miu Kin-Fai
editor: Yiu Tin-Hung
action director: Benz Kong To-Hoi
music: Wan Ho-Kit ; Lee Hon-Kam ; (P.I. Tchaikovsky)
producers: Wellington Fung, Ma Fung-Kwok
Media Asia Films
Veronica Yip Yuk-Hing, Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Farini Cheung Yui-Ling, Gilbert Lam, Almon Wong, Peter Ngor
|Reviewed by Shelly Kraicer
Don't be put off by the opening scene: this is not another Simon Yam horror-exploitation movie. Yam and Veronica Yip star in a romance-thriller about a nasty gangster (Yam) who is utterly transformed by a knock on the head, and a traumatized physician (Yip) who attempts to heal him. The creaky premise is right out of genre stock (hospital drama, romance with a slowly recovering amnesiac, slasher episodes, operatic finale), but director Leung hangs from it a surprisingly fresh and subversive movie.
He inspires excellent performances from both stars: Simon Yam's evocation of a naive, awkward innocent is sure-handed and completely convincing. And Veronica Yip shines in a well-developed dramatic role. She succeeds in holding her character at a safe distance from either pole of woman-in-peril or woman-as-mother.
Sometimes jarring, rapid-fire editing distorts and fractures Scarred Memory's narrative line, constantly preventing this film from unfolding chronologically.
Scenes set in the "present" are folded into quick flashbacks, dreams, and fantasy images. The two leads seem to experience their past, present, future, and fantasies simultaneously, as if it all were part of their immediate experience. It's a bit dizzying for the audience, not knowing exactly when in time what we are seeing on the screen is taking place, but Leung's sure hand ensures that our disorientation is just fleeting: the story remains easy to follow.
An uncelebrated standout from 1996.
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all content © 1996-2002 Shelly Kraicer