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Film Review: 挺港片《常在你左右》Always Be With You (2017)

Updated: Apr 6

Film Review: 挺港片《常在你左右》Always Be With You (2017)
FILE PHOTO: Promotion of《常在你左右》Always Be With You (2017) © Ryota Nakanishi

Ghost Anthology franchise, Troublesome Night is well known for 20 titles including this one. Anthology films provided opportunities for independently financed genre filmmakers of Hong Kong. It also developed the most important genre filmmaker Herman Yau who is seemed to be Hong Kong's Tobe Hooper or Roger Corman. Contrary to Troublesome Night (1997), this 20th anniversary film 'Always Be With You' (2017) is well marketed by Halloween campaign that audiences who take shots with ghost costumed staff at theatres can get 2,000 HKD. This kind of thanks-for purchasing ticket campaign also does not depend on stars to appear at cinemas. It actually hit the first weekend box office. About the film, you can see a traditional anthology is well organised into an ensemble form in this film practice. It proved that an anthology film can be reorganised into a seamless ensemble film. The car incident which mixed with suicide incident of Xiao-Hong provokes entire conflicts of this film. Stealer Zhi-qiang's escape from mafia and enigmatic ghost Xiao-Hong; causing of unrecognised Six-Sense-like death of cop Sam and his girlfriend A-Si's love story, moreover the taxi driver David who accidentally kills resort house owner Patrick, and his girlfriend involving in serial suicidal actions of guests at the resort house. All of them are full of suicidal topic, and the filmmakers successfully expressed humanistic emotions and emotional reality through paranoia-like personality and twisted plots in this film. The range and extent are something deeper or unusual than Hollywood films' standard. For example, you can see the taxi driver David who is doomed to uncuttable cancer tries to help Patrick's girl friend from the serial suicide scandals at her hotel where Patrick owned and named as 'Suicide Paradise' by HK media. What he does is hiding dead bodies by cutting and splitting them to cover the incidents. This film's reality depends on urban legends that are popular among HK society. Mainly it's the ghost tale that ghosts who committing suicide by dropping off from typically high buildings. And also someone stealing dropped items is cursed by a ghost. HK has no specific ghost character but the methods of involving curse is specific. Film's reality originally depends on real incidents, emotional reality and calculations of possibilities of certain dangers. We can see this film actually expressed our emotional reality. The main story of this ensemble drama is tale of Yu-xin and taxi driver Patrick. Thank you all for this well-made genre film of HK! Please keep it up!

Happy Halloween!


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Film Review: 挺港片《常在你左右》Always Be With You (2017)


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