Director: Wilson Chin
Cast: Jason Chan, Bonnie Sin, Jun Kung, Miki Yeung, Jeana Ho, Stephanie Cheng, DaDa, Gregory Wong, Emme Wong, Gary Cheng, Phat, Pal Sinn
RunTime: 1 hr 36 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes)
Opening Day: 29 September 2011
Synopsis: Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), a well-known party location in Hong Kong with loads of nightclubs and bars. Everyone likes to go LKF for fun, one night stand or even true love. LKF had captured joys and sorrows of many… One night, Steven – a regular of LKF met the flight attendant – Jennifer. They had sex on the first night they met but both could feel love comes along. They had another date on the New Year Eve again. Unfortunately, misunderstanding tore them apart and Jennifer decided disappear from LKF. After eight months, Steven met with Jennifer again and hoping to restart a relationship with her. However, Jennifer was no longer single, she’s now his boss, Leslie’s girlfriend. At the same time, Steven received a call that his close friend collapsed and had to be sent to hospital. His friend encouraged him to follow his hearts. When he finally decided to tell Jennifer about his feelings, Jennifer had already engaged to Leslie. Steven was heart-broken. He accepted the job promotion to stay in overseas’ branch office. His friends threw him a farewell party. He reunited with Jennifer again at the party. Will the two be together again after everything they’ve been through in this place with tons of One Night Stand happening every night?
Hong Kong’s celluloid depiction of its nightlife has somehow been synonymous with its triads, immortalised in iconic films like the ‘Young and Dangerous’ series. It makes for gripping cinema, but the reality is that the triads have been fast disappearing from the scene, while the city’s nightlife has grown ever more colourful and interesting. ‘Lan Kwai Fong’ represents one of the few movies that dissociates the former from the latter, painting a relevant portrait of today’s clubbing landscape made up of young working adults who hit the bars and clubs around the titular district for booze, music, company- and perhaps even love.
Rather than being centred around any particular character, the film adopts a multi-character narrative built around the fictional Club Billion where the music is loud, the atmosphere is lively and most of all, the girls are hot. To die for is Cat (Dada Chan), the resident guy magnet surrounded by the opposite sex wherever she goes. She is also the apple of Sean’s (Wong Chung Yiu) eye, the lawyer harbouring a crush on her since their secondary school days. While Sean tries to win Cat’s heart, his two close friends, Steven (Zo) and Jacky (Jason Chan), have their sights on flight attendants Jennifer (Shiga Lin) and Jeana (Miki Yeung), both of them newbies at the start but take to partygoing like fish to water.
The sheer number of characters in the movie means that there is little time spent on each individually- and the most fully fleshed out of the lot is Steven and Jennifer, their mutual attraction and subsequent relationship chosen by writing duo Mark Wu and Lam Fung to begin and conclude the movie. Some may scoff at the substance of their affection for each other and dismiss it as no more than a convenient means for their hedonistic ways- but director Wilson Chin prefers not to glamorise or criticise, instead holding up a mirror to their lifestyle and reflecting it as it is to his audience, many of whom may likely have similar personal experiences of their own.
Most of the film unfolds through a series of parties within the span of two years, as the characters meet, separate and then unite once again to hugs and kisses and maybe even one-night stands. The latter should also serve as fair warning for those who think they may be offended by the fickleness and promiscuity of some of the younger generation today- there is ample on display here, and good reason why this is one of the rare Hong Kong movies to earn an M18 rating for sexual scenes. Nonetheless, it should also be said that those looking for some tease and/or to ogle at the hot young cast assembled here will definitely enjoy the amount of skin and action going on in the film.
And you’re right- the film often doesn’t go more than skin-deep to let the characters get to know each other, or for that matter, for its audience to know the characters. But it’s also a case of art imitating life, the same ambiguity and superficiality a very quality of the real-life interactions which go on in places like this. With 'Lan Kwai Fong', Wilson has fashioned a film that has its finger firmly on the pulse of the partygoing scene among young adults today- and we dare say that this lively, engaging and most of all authentic portrait is a Zeitgeist in itself.
(Lively, engaging and sexy- what more can you ask for from a portrait of today's partygoing scene?)