Chow Yun Fat is best known as for his gun slinging roles in John Woo films. His roles as a gambler, thief, prisoner or cop have been the epitome of cool. However, his greatest works have always been in dramatic or comedic roles that rarely make it out of the Hong Kong or Asian marketplace.
His role in this film, is one of his best dramatic performances. Chow creates such great characters, his role here is no different. Sam is a loud likable rogue who is both tough and vulnerable. There are a couple of long lingering shots that will absolutely convince you of his acting prowess. Cherie Chung has a tough challenge to play opposite Chow but does a decent job. The chemistry is a bit balanced towards Chow but with him you absolutely know he’s in love with her and it’s enough to sell the entire relationship.
The film is lovingly crafted by the same people who did 2009’s Echoes of the Rainbow. Director Mabel Cheung channels Woody Allen and creates a New York love story with a slant towards its Chinatown personality. Some scenes like the below image is so beautifully composed it makes my teeth hurt.
It’s a simple story about two people falling in love but never quite being able to connect. Subdued and sublime, Chow’s acting captivates and elevates this good film into a great one.