Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Articles Local Scene About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of "Linger"
(Courtesy from Encore Films)

In Mandarin with English & Chinese Subtitles
Director: Johnnie To
Cast: Chou Yu Min, Li Bing Bing, Yao Yung, Maggie Shiu, Roy Cheung, Wong Yau Nam
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & Encore Films
Rating: PG (Some Scenes of Intimacy)
Official Website: www.encorefilms.com/linger.html

Opening Day: 10 January 2008


Tung (played by Chou Yu Min) is a popular student at his college. He was initially dating Fan, the college’s Queen, but became attracted to Gia (played by Li Bing Bing) whom he fell in love at first sight.

One day, Gia and Tung had a quarrel and when Tung gave chase to Gia on his motorcycle, he had a car accident and died. After the accident, Gia isn’t herself anymore and relies on medication to control her emotions.

Three years have passed since Tung’s death. Gia has graduated and works as a legal assistant in a law firm. Life is busy but she feels empty. She does not know if it is because of guilt or that she misses him.

Her doctor, Dr. Yuen (played by Roy Cheung) advises her to stop the medication and move on with her life. However, once she stops the medication, she begins to see Tung in her dreams. She suspects that her encounters with Tung are real. At the same time, she realizes that her love for Tung is true and she has never stopped loving him.

At this point, Wu (played by Wong Yau Nam) appears in Gia’s life. Wu is a delinquent who has been sent to the reformatory several times and has no permanent occupation. As Wu admires Gia, he is willing to do anything for Gia and she asks him to track down Tung’s father.

The relationship with his father is one burden that Tung cannot let go even after his death. Their relationship has never been good after Tung was beaten by his father in his youth. They drifted further apart when Tung moved out to stay on his own in his second year of college. Gia discovers that Tung’s father misses his son very much.

At last, Gia frees her true self to Tung and he fades away as they both defeat the affliction within their hearts …

Movie Review:

Disclaimer From This Reviewer:
Likes: Johnnie To’s male dark conflict movies
Dislikes: Sappy Taiwanese Teenage Romance Drama
Can’t comprehend: the whole F4 buzz in Meteor Garden.

The biggest draw for Linger would probably be the first time collaboration of popular Taiwan boy band F4 member, Vic Chou and Hong Kong auteur Director Johnnie To. Linger would also be Vic Chou’s breakthrough into the movie industry and like many of his counterparts who are looking to cross over into the movie platform, it’s often met with great success or they would simply crash and burn.

Let’s just put it that this collaboration was a let down from either end.

While Director Johnnie To has his fair share of romance movies under his belt (such as Turn Left, Turn Right), it’s his films that dabbles with the darker nature of mankind (Election, PTU, Mad Detective) that really stood out. Linger bears very little of his intriguing story telling trademarks in recent times, except some of his regulars who made a welcome appearance in this movie.

Then there the “charm” in certain Taiwanese Teenage Romance Drama series where there is this main male lead character who is constantly behaving in an ungentlemanly manner, often veering close to bullying the female character in the series was rather unfathomable. I simply don’t see the attraction in that but I been told by female friends that there was a certain level of coolness to it.

Here in Linger, even though it was directed by a Hong Kong director and in a Hong Kong setting, we are still getting a rehash of such unlikable behavior in a male lead role which personally made it hard for me to relate to the reason why Tung is lingering around for so long in this world when his time is up or even sympathize his untimely demise. Was he that petty that he needed to stay around for so long for the answer of an outcome from a rather juvenile relationship? It was particularly hard to sympathize when the cause of the accident was from such childish acts. Did the writer even stop to ponder why was there such urgency for Tung to seek an answer from Gia prior to the accident?

It also felt that half way through the film or story writing process, the writer realized that she didn’t have a strong case for this whole afterlife lingering debacle, an unresolved family turmoil was thrown in to strengthen the whole plot device. The end result felt like a sloppy patchwork which threw creditability out of the window.

Another evidence of this film’s sloppiness could be found in the film’s Chinese title itself. Literally it meant “Butterfly fly” but the movie never made any attempts in explaining the meaning of the sudden appearance of butterflies in this movie. Although most would have guess the butterflies significance in this movie, it still felt that the butterflies were hastily added so that people won’t go scratching their head, wondering why was this film titled in this way.

Placing Vic Chou’s name as the lead in this movie felt like a awful scam to all his fans. His lead screen time presence felt as short as Anthony Hopkins’ one in Silence in the Lamb (which the movie was ironically made “fun” of in this movie) but (of course) his appearances were no where as memorable as Mr Lector. By the time when the credits rolled, it might have been more correct if Vic Chou’s name was taken from the main billing and fitted at the special appearance one instead.

Vic Chou’s chemistry with Li Bing Bing was almost a non existence one. Partly the script was to be blame as it had his character behaving in the most irresponsible manner and instead of building any romantic moments between these two; it was squandered mostly on bullying and terrorizing. By the time the script changed it tune at the mid way, when it’s time to root for Tung, Vic Chou’s performance was too stoic to create that “emotionally deeply inflicted” persona to relate to.

Surprisingly, it was Li Bing Bing’s character as Gia that made Linger watchable and perhaps a good choice that she carried most of the bulk of this movie. Although there was this distracting Chinese accent that kept reminding me that she is a China actress playing a Hong Kong citizen role, her sensibility and fragileness made it easy to root for her to survive this seemly endless torture.

I might not have been the right person to review this film as I suspect that Linger is targeted for the younger female demographic that are fervent followers of the Taiwan romance series. However Linger brought out two points for me, Romance probably is not director Johnnie To’s forte and I will probably never understand the selling points of teenage heartthrob Vic Chou.

Movie Rating:

(Nothing much worth lingering for)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. Hooked On You (2007)

. 2 Become 1 (2006)

. All About Love (2005)

. Yesterday Once More (2004)

. Love In The City VCD (2007)

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.