LAN KWAI FONG Review

Lan Kwai Fong.jpgLAN KWAI FONG, the latest film from Hong Kong, tells the story of a bunch of promiscuous young men and women who spend their time hanging out in Lan Kwai Fong. Those of you who have visited Hong Kong would know that Lan Kwai Fong is a popular entertainment district, and chances are that you actually went there and had a good night out. For those of you who don't know, Lan Kwai Fong is a part of Hong Kong right next to the Central Business District, and is most famous for its restaurants, clubs and pubs. It is quite simply the place to go if you want to experience Hong Kong's night life.

Billed as a 2011 version of TWENTY SOMETHING, which was directed by Teddy Chan (BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS, PURPLE STORM) in 1994, LAN KWAI FONG sets out to give an update on the lives and relationships of the young people living in Hong Kong today. While the two films share the same subject matter, LAN KWAI FONG gives a more focussed and detailed portrayal of club life, while TWENTY SOMETHING offers more insights into its characters' lives and as a result, greater emotional complexity. Those who have seen the original version should remember the truly memorable cemetery scene with a song by Sandy Lam playing in the background.

The majority of scenes in LAN KWAI FONG take place inside one particular club, complete with music, dancing, alcohol, brawls and sex. In the film, many of the characters go to the club to seek casual sexual relationships, and yes, there are a lot of sex scenes in the film. However, while these scenes are steamy, really not a lot of skin is revealed.  The characters are played by an attractive and likeable young cast with generally natural performances. Singer-actor Jason Chan Pak-Yu is particularly good as an irresponsible playboy. Experienced actor Sin Lap-Man (EROTIC GHOST STORY), on the other hand, gives a scene-stealing performance as an ex-gangster with a long-term admirer.

Director Wilson Chin was a popular television producer and director, and is relatively new to cinema. He has done a decent job in directing LAN KWAI FONG, which is currently the most popular local film in Hong Kong. So it has clearly struck a chord with Hong Kong audiences. People who are fans of the young actors and actresses in the film, like TWENTY SOMETHING, or want to learn more about Hong Kong's young people today, should find LAN KWAI FONG interesting.

 

LAN KWAI FONG is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Dream Movie. It is currently showing in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland.

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