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Starring: Lau Ching Wan. Ekin Cheng, Fruit Chan, The Grasshoppers, Tony Leung,
Director: Lawrence Ah Mon
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2006


VCD Format (2 Discs)
Mandarin & Cantonese
Subtitles: English & Chinese
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Distributor: InnoForm Media



Poon Ka Fai had reached the summit of his career in his 20s – he was awarded the best new male actor academy award. He was regarded highly by the TV station but he did not treasure the opportunity. He became more and more fastidious and often criticized other people. As a result, Fai’s career and popularity declined and gradually he dropped from the main cast to minor roles. Finally, the TV station decided not to employ him. Fai was very depressed until he met Ng Hiu Fei, a girl who was very devoted to acting.

Fei was willing to try and take up every opportunity and she was not afraid of hardship. She devoted all her efforts in every acting opportunity such as a stand-in with no show of her face and no dialogue. Fei’s determination and devotion moved Fai. He decided to teach her his secret acting techniques. Fai became Fei’s manager and teacher. Fai was influenced by Fei and had rebuild his devotion for acting, by which he marketed himself to film directors for taking a role in their films.

When Fai realized he fell in love with Fei, Fei has to leave Fai to go to Japan to start her journey to a superstar…


Hong Kong cinema is constantly surprising movie-goers with gems. From smart scripting and snazzy visuals to remarkable directing and astonishing performances, films from Hong Kong are always worth looking out for.

Here is another production which never made it to the local big screens in Singapore. But it is such a joy to watch this Lawrence Lau-directed movie; we are giving it two thumbs up, even if it means having to watch it on the computer or television screen at home.

The story is a cheeky lampoon of today’s movie industry. An out-of-luck actor loses his place in the limelight after winning a best Newcomer Award and starring in several television serials. His arrogant personality does not help to improve things a lot.

Along comes an idealistic young actress who will do almost everything to get into the industry. Before long, the depressed actor becomes her manager and teacher, helping her achieve her dreams of becoming a star.

The two-paragraph synopsis sounds like a potential warm and fuzzy tearjerker which viewers can expect many inspiring scenes involving stirring dialogue and bucketfuls of tears of hardship.

But no, the approach to making this 94-minute a very engaging watch is uniquely fun. You know this when you see actors and directors like Ekin Cheng, Tony Leung, Fruit Chan and Ann Hui popping up in cameo roles as themselves throughout the movie. They poke fun at themselves being part and parcel of the cruel industry, where luck is sometimes favoured more than hard work and perseverance.

And if you are a fan of Hong Kong cinema, you’d have a fun time spotting in-jokes made about Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood For Love (2000) and Derek Yee’s One Night in Mongkok (2004).

The movie is not without a message amidst all the fun and namedropping. Themes of determination, humility and love are nicely developed between the two main leads played by the reliable Lau Ching Wan (who unfortunately hasn’t won a single Hong Kong Film Award to date) and the likeable newcomer Huo Siyan (whom we would love to see garnering at least a Best Newcomer nomination at the next Hong Kong Film Awards).

Interestingly, you’d also get to see an award trophy (as a prop) and an award presentation ceremony (as the movie’s fitting finale) in the movie.

Watching the interaction between the veteran actor and the newbie actress is an enjoyable experience, especially during scenes where he teaches her how to act like a real pro. While some may accuse these segments as conveniently tear-inducing, they add some sentimental soft touches to the movie.

We would also like to commend the distributor for having two audio tracks on the disc. Viewers can choose to watch the movie in Mandarin or Cantonese, and we’d definitely recommend the latter.

It makes the whole Hong Kong cinema watching experience more complete.


Review by John Li


Other titles from Innoform:

. Born to Fight

. Lizard Woman

. Letter

. Chai-Lai Angels

. Helen the Baby Fox

. Love Asia

. The Commitment

. The Story of X-Circle

. Beautiful, Wonderful, Perfect

. Hit Man



This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm


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