He (Aaron Kwok) once had everything: money, friends and an
understanding wife (Charlie Young) who had to help pay for
his debt due to his addictive gambling. He is now a shadow
of the man he once was. A man past his prime, he has gambled
all he had away except his son (Gouw Ian Iskandar) who is
smart and loves his father dearly Unable to tolerate his ways,
the wife left the father and son eventually. Soon, the son
was forced to become a thief to help pay his father's gambling
debts. However, the son was eventually caught. The father
asked for his son's forgiveness and silence follows. The hurt
that the father has inflicted on his son shall forever remain
a scar. A decade later, the grown son returns to his hometown.
As he walks the empty streets from a distance, he sees a man
who resembles his father...
This Our Exile is not the best Hong Kong film I saw this year.
Nor is Aaron Kwok this year’s best actor. What it is,
however, is a poignant yet restrained movie inhabited by beautiful
people in unbelievable straits with strange bedfellows heartily
mangling the Cantonese dialect. Much as I enjoyed the sight
of Charlie Young and Kelly Lin wriggling under the sheets
with the buff Aaron, these love scenes brought my mind squarely
to the incongruity of these beautiful people hiding in rustic
irreversibly diluted a strong outing by the much-missed Patrick
heart, After This is a non-story about an under-performing
good-for-nothing father and a too –cute son. Under Patrick
Tam’s direction, however, the movie is shot majestically
and powerfully, sans the stylistic editing that may jot some
audiences from Tam’s dramatic storytelling. This is
a solid movie, but it may leave some hearts empty with its
purposeful under-elucidation. The full impact of the movie,
however, hits you hard days after the fact when you reflect
on its cruel portrayal of humanity.
by Lim Mun Pong