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  Publicity Stills of "The Pye Dog"
Courtesy of Shaw

In Mandarin with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Derek Kwok
Starring: Eason Chan, Gia Lin, Wen Jun Hui , Eric Tsang, George Lam
RunTime: 1 hr 29 mins
Rating: PG (Some Violence)

Opening Day: 10 January 2008


Wang (Wen Jun Hui) is a twelve-year old kid with learning difficulties. He is not a mute but has never spoken a single word. His mother has been telling him that his father had flown to a remote place. She kept on praying to a plastic flower and said, “One day the flower blooms is the day your father comes back.” When Wang was six, he watched his mother jumped from the balcony. He thought his mother has flown to find his father. 

A young and weird person, Dui (Eason Chan) arrives to Wang’s school and takes up the job as a janitor. At the same time, a substitute teacher Miss Cheung (Gia Lin) arrives who is also a weird person. Sparkle ignites when these three weird people bump into each other.  

Wang’s father, being the rising star in the triad, is back from overseas to expand power in Hong Kong but with a real attempt to get Wang back. Threatened by his rising power, other triad leaders resort to kidnap Wang and assigned Dui with this task. Wang’s father is not a fool, he had already placed a bodyguard who is a formidable sniper close to Wang, and this sniper is Miss Cheung. Without knowing each other’s real identity, a warm relationship develops among the three. Miss Cheung has feelings on Dui and in truth, they are just like a family. 

Christmas Show is coming, Wang announces that he will sing a song for Dui and Miss Cheung on the stage. But Dui discovers that the triad’s leaders get another new plan – to assassinate Wang’s father. To ensure Wang a happy life, Dui makes his first decision in his life – to rescue and protect Wang’s father. In the midst of Wang’s singing, a bloodcurdling battle in the school also begins…

Movie Review:

Review from Stefan over @ 31st HKIFF

The first thing that came to mind while watching The Pye-Dog was that it felt like it was a extended music video. Since The Pye-Dog features Hong Kong singer Eason Chan as the lead role, it won’t come as a surprise if this movie suddenly features his songs or songs from other artist. With that thought in mind, there were few things that could be concluded about The Pye-Dog and the manner the story was told.

The highlights of such “MTV” style of filming and story telling in The Pye-Dog was that it was visually stunning. It has those captivating moments such as a “starry” grass patch and mini carnival rides made out of recycle materials that are usually found in the fairytale type of Asian music videos. Music videos often utilize such memorable scenes to capture the audience’s attention quickly as the time frame in a music video is short and that lead to the downside of such music videos style of storytelling in a movie.

It felt that this movie focus too much time framing those music videos scene shots and neglected letting this movie flow in it’s nature pace. The fast pace and fast cut editing manner, albeit cool, was a distraction to the characters interaction and in a way, disturb the flow of story telling between bubbling friendship between Dui and Wang. The characters and the actors are a likeable bunch but such manner of story telling made it hard to feel much for them or their plights.

Speaking of the cast, their performance was an endearing bunch. Starting from little Wang, played by Wen Jun Hui. Although he wasn’t really good at singing (a important note as his voice was supposedly the crux of the climatic finale), his non-speaking performance was a impressive one. Eason Chan as a directionless chap was quite spot on and had great chemistry with both young Wen Jun Hui and Gia Lin.

The amazing bit about Gia Lin was that she was able to looks sultry even with a conservative image as a school teacher. Her ability to balance a switch from a fragile persona to a tough one was impressively convincing and definitely one of the new actresses from China to watch out for.

Beside the main trio, there were two veterans which infused charms into this movie. Eric Tsang was basically replaying the kind hearted guy triads but he was still able to inject humor and likeability into his character with ease. George Lam’s rather sudden appearance was a pleasantly surprise one. It had been a long time since he appeared in a movie and his charismatic performance will make one wonder why hasn’t he return to the silver screen more often.

Overall, The Pye-Dog was an enjoyable film to catch. It definitely had it’s moments and likeable character and cast. It’s a pity that the film didn’t find a way to gel them all together.

Movie Rating:

(There’s some bites to this Pye-Dog)

Review by
Richard Lim Jr


. Brothers (2007)

. Hooked On You (2007)

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