Director: Stanley Kwan
Starring: Sammi Cheng, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Hu
Jun, Daniel Wu, Huang Jue,
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: Shaw & Festive Films
Opening Day: 6 October 2005
about "Everlasting Regret" with our members here!
Based on Wang Anyi's Changhen Ge, the multi-award winning
novel that was voted the most influential work of the 90s
in China, Everlasting Regret follows a legendary Shanghai
beauty from her glamorous days to her simpler life, as she
struggles to preserve the dignity of her past while surviving
the constant betrayal of her men. She stands tall and proud
as she bears witness to the waves of changes to her city from
1947 to 1981, until one wave finally overwhelms her.
A peek at Golden Horse winning director, Stanley Kwan’s
controversial career and the hype about Hong Kong’s
comedic romance queen, Sammi Cheng turning all-serious may
already triggers one to watch this movie. Touted as the screen
adaptation of the best selling novel which was said to have
done much in reviving the Shanghai nostalgia styles and also
the first film, in almost a decades, that Stanley Kwan had
deviated from his personal sexual orientation, adds on to
the list of reasons that classify this as a “must-watch”.
And so that was what most of us thought.
spite of the inspiring Wang Anyi’s original novel of
the same name, the scriptwriters have fizzled another success
on screen. Instead of augmenting on the pentagon romance of
legendary beauty Wang Qiyao amidst the rapid changes occurs
to Shanghai, Stanley Kwan decided to let the transition of
Shanghai from the 40s to the early 80s took center stage.
The vision is challenging but the end product is unsatisfactory.
With cuts that bear no considerations about the timeline,
audience may scrambles with the era. Yes, there were pieces
of clues scattered but the guessing game were not at all pleasing
especially when the shots were mostly done indoor. And with
the scripts hurriedly pressing ahead, much characters development
and dramatic substances have been unjustly compromised.
movie also splurges with philosophical lines that seem to
have forgotten the basic fact: the audience is watching. Audience
may struggle to comprehend the screen characters, who seem
to be conversing to themselves. Not that the acting of the
protagonists were a thumb down,
but there is just no apparent connections between the characters
and the changing environment. Their relationships were unexciting.
Their screen chemistry was pathetic. Where finally the characters
managed to raise the emotional temperature, a black screen
interrupted with a few lines telling the departure of the
problems with the disappointing script and direction. After
all, the majority of the box office goes to fans of the canto-pop
Queen, who are eager to witness the change of Sammi Cheng
taking on the mature role of Wang Qiyao. Sadly, her performance
is nothing ground breaking. For a character with such depth
as Wang Qiyao, Sammi merely scratches the surface. She tries
hard to captivate the audience but the result looks awkward.
But to be fair to the comedic queen, she well packed with
the potential to gradually grow to an all-rounder actress.
the high expectation on Sammi turns out to be all "hoo-har",
fortunately, the supporting casts have never been better.
The ever-trustworthy Tony Leung was Mr Cheng, a photographer
cum silent admirer of Qiyao. Unlike what’s originally
written on the script that Mr Cheng love and hated Qiyao,
Tony Leung discarded the hate elements to focus on how his
character had treasured every single moments he have with
Qiyao. The results were sweet and moving. Though having little
screen time, his emotions could even be felt from his voice
narration throughout the movie.
Horse Best Supporting Actor, Daniel Wu again charmed the screen
with decent acting and a pretty boy looks, only this time
with an oddly stick-on moustache that looks rather distracting.
Overall, seeing him pulling off a courage-less Kang Minxun
is simply enjoyable.
Mainland celebrity, Hu Jun and Sun Yan superb acting could
have delivered more punch to the story especially when they
are assuming roles that were vital part of Qiyao’s life.
Strangely, both were underutilised and have little appearances
in the movie.
course much could be talk about on the movie’s production
designs and the soundtracks (hailed late Teresa Teng’s
numbers!), pitifully there is nothing else memorable. Many
parting scenes or sense of losses, which should have been
emotionally charged, were plainly portrayed. A city of glamour
been reduced to a depressing metropolis of political ploy,
then to a forlorn capital are not properly conveyed. The anticipated
dramatic build up of the finale just goes flat liner and the
whole interpretation of the story questioned as the end credits
Regrets may receive rave reviews from the western critics
or are highly recommended by judges of film festivals, frankly,
this film may only be suitable for die-hard Sammi’s
fan and those who prefers the unconventional.
this movie leaves no everlasting impression)
by Leosen Teo