Staying true to his cinematic roots, writer and director Simon Chung of Innocent fame here delivers a bittersweet, if addictive take on unrequited love.
Not that you would know that from the publicity photos, given party boy Ming seemingly has it all. The looks, the love of a devoted boyfriend, let alone the adoration of many a man more than willing to pay for the privilege of sampling his youthful physique. Only when lover Yan discovers his boyfriendís hustling, let alone drug addicted ways, it isnít long before the police come knocking at Mingís door. Forced to do time at a rehabilitation camp run by the Christian right, it is here that Ming meets reformed drug addict Keung; a voluntary inmate and mentor who Ming soon develops a-liking for. Yet how long will it be before cracks start to appear in their friendship?
Cross-cutting between past and present time frames like a celluloid motor saw gone into overdrive, this reflective piece for all of its tender moments, is far dark and deeper than what many may at first assume it to be. Then again, youíre never quite sure what path Chung is leading you down, given the plethora of themes on offer, ones that range from male prostitution, a descent into drugs, acts akin to male rape, suicide, the word of God, to that of a Greek tragedy styled finale.
Thankfully into such a fragmented mix, Chi-Kin Lee handles the sexual role of Ming with considerable charm, even if and as with all works on the drug-fuelled, sex-hustling downward spiral of life and of those there are many, John Palmerís Sugar included, you cannot help but wonder if anyone is going to get out alive? Yet it is the theme of unrequited love that remains dominant throughout, as one and all yearn for love, only to fall for the one whose heart lies elsewhere. That the film comes full circle, reflects a narrative that weaves its emotive story of love unanswered on those who are too messed up, either mentally or physically, to break free from a life addicted to chemical highs and sex of the paid variety. A sorry tale indeed, told with heart-rendering honesty. Need more be said?
starring: Chi-Kin Lee / Ming, Guthrie Yip / Keung, Ben Yeung / Yan, Clifton Kwan / Cyrus,
Joman Chiang / Jackie, Alex Wong / Tsz Yan, Andrew Hui / Wilfred, Tim Bo /
Ming's Mother and Ho Tin Tai as Ming, the Boy.