Saturday, 1 September 2007

Her Fatal ways (1991)

English title: Her Fatal ways

This is 1 of the funniest comedy I've seen. It's political satire with a pinch of slap sticks throw into the mix. This is very different comedy from Stephen Chow's parodies.

But it's 1 of those comedy that will NOT translate very well across culture AND context (meaning you HAD to be there) lines.

Many of the humour in this film are revolved around 4 main things:
1. her unsophisticated ways (hence the title Her Fatal Ways).
2. her fervent communist revolutionary zeal that to the politically nonchalant HK locals are quite hilarious.
3. Leung's father's KMT party fervor. Again, politally nonchalant.
4. and the conflicts arose between 2 and 3 above. What's the fuss is all about?

This movie is 1 of the number made during this period of a decade before HK's handover to China. Understandably, HK people were very anxious about the political uncertainty after the handover of HK back to the presumably hard bosom of China. And this kind of comedy that served as a tension relief valves that just what the doctor ordered. At the same time, it was a lens in which to focus about life after handover could be considered. So you really have to live in that period to understand why this comedy is funny. You HAD to be there. All comedies derives from tension, and the higher the tension, the harder the sudden burst of laughter.

No, I didn't grow up in HK at all. But I went through something very similar, and understand it well.

I don't believe it's the intention of the director to poke fun or denigrate Mainland Chinese for their unsophisticated ways (in the 1980s). The ending quite clearly shows reconciliation and understanding were reached among all parties (in a manner of speaking).

As non HK people, you still can enjoy many of the jokes if you understand the cross-straits relationship at the time, and modern Chinese history. Of course, all the subtle nuances in jokes would be impossible to export across cultural boundaries. That won't be too great a loss.

Dodo Cheng got her Best Actress award for this role. I did enjoy her in the performance of that role a great deal. Every actor has a role of their career, and I think this is hers.

1 that deals with politics, a rare piece of HK film.

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