Back-dated entry in March.
Recently I bought some of James Lee’s works through Da Huang Pictures. Ok, just two to begin with. His latest film ‘Call if you need me’ has so far won a handful of global recognition and international screenings elsewhere but here.
Directed by James Lee and Tan Chui Mui as the producer, the movie starred a simple village dude Or Kia (Sunny Pang) who had arrived in the big city and met his cousin brother Ah Soon (Pete Teo) for an underground job which, calls for Or Kia’s decision in the end to choose between brotherhood honor and defending for his stay in the gangster’s paradise.
Like many of James Lee underdog films, reality is always portrayed as the illusion that bites. Hard. The first 10 to 20 minutes in the opening of the film, for example, does not waste time with the audience questioning what the casts were doing popping pills and dance away like there’s no tomorrow. Or the scene about the guys who are fairly eloquent in porn talk on daily basis.
I have to admit being turned off by such disturbing environment they called themselves home, but there was an unmistakable charm in the storyline that I was looking for, one is centred on the relationship between Or Kia and Ah Soon, and another between Ah Soon and his near non-existent love partner, though I felt the relationship was never developed further into a story of its own. Maybe a spin-off of that would be good.
I want to know what made Or Kia betrayed the childhood memories he kept reminding Ah Soon about in the beginning of the movie, and what made him turn his back on Ah Soon. But there was no prior revenge intended, no unfinished business to attend to.
As the movie progressed on however, it dawned on me how predictable it would be if it were the case. I think it would work well on some plot-twisted drama action film elsewhere, anywhere but here. The nature of the dark society eventually takes its course. Or Kia stepped up to replace Ah Soon in the mob business and the ending speaks for itself in the depressing symbol of a branded blazer that Or Kia received from Ah Soon, and his last words to Ah Soon made sense of what the movie is about.