Anita Mui

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Media Review by most recent date sequence. 傳媒影評依照日期排列

[男人四十] 影評

因為阿梅和許鞍華,不太喜歡看港產片的我去看了[男人四十]。當然兩位不但沒有領我失望,還帶給我意外驚喜。

整體來講,劇本內容,電影結構,演員表現和導演手法都達到超水準的地步。不虧是一部近期極受注目的港產片,而榮獲海外及香港電影金像獎八項大獎提名。

我很喜歡許鞍華的風格,很欣賞她用那種含蓄、輕描淡寫的手法和角色之間的簡單對話把全部故事及各人的內心世界很自然和細緻的、赤裸裸的表達了出來。一點也不誇張,一點也不做作,一點也不牽強,而循序漸進的把故事帶入主題,好像一切發生得很自然,使觀眾看得很舒服。

張學友在向他挑情的學生,林嘉欣,身上見到妻子年青時的影子,回想起自己求學時對同學,現為他妻子,梅豔芳的暗戀。而程老師,曾是張學友最愛、最尊敬的老師,但因和梅豔芳的師生戀而成為他最看不起的人。程老師的再次出現及和梅豔芳的見面領到張學友埋在內心二十年的妒忌和對程老師的怨狠一起爆發出來。

梅豔芳對兒子譚俊彥的淡淡的一句[如果祇是為了解決問題而嫁他,我們會不會一起生活二十多年?]已表達了她對丈夫,張學友,二十年來一份細水長流的愛。雖然當初嫁給張學友是逼於無奈,但婚後已對他產生了夫妻之愛。再去見程老師她也不明白理由。當時把一切責任推在對方身上,但二十年來,時間已沖淡了一切,對他已沒有了怨狠,沒有感覺。人的心理始終是複雜的。由於她和程老師的兒子譚俊彥,我想下意識她想程老師知道。同時也是適當時侯讓兒子知道或相見他親生父親。

張學友因自己和林嘉欣的師生戀及和她在深圳的一宿使他體驗到了、明白了、諒解了程老師的師生戀,對程老師的狠和卑視也因此消失。而梅豔芳對他在外渡宿的不問不啾不但領他更內疚,也領他再次懷疑她一直沒有真正的愛過他,一直留戀在她的舊愛中。一句[妳會中文打字][樓已供滿]真正傷得梅豔芳好慘。二十年來他始終不明白她對他的愛,誤解她和他生活在一起的原因,心中的委屈再也不能忍耐下去,終於痛哭出來了……..除了供樓和養家外,作為丈夫的他始終不明白妻子,尢其是她心靈上的需求。

導演好,劇本好,演員也一定要好才能拍出一部好的電影。所以這部片選角也很恰當。很多影評說張學友演活了那位老師。我覺得不若說張學友把自己搬上了銀幕。因為我覺得張學友本人的性格和片中角色十分相似。許鞍華也看到這點,不然她也不會說如果張學友辭演,此片也會胎死腹中。當然我絕對同意張學友確實演得很好,演活了那位老師。

至於梅豔芳,演[師奶]角色也是第一次。但是她的演技已到達出神入化的地步,任何角色都不能難到她。最欽佩她能把自己和角色融合一體,所以演來自然而又恰到好處。雖然演份比較少,但沒有她和張學友的化學作用,及她帶人入戲的技巧,其他和她做對手戲的演員,尤其新演員,未必可以演得那麼投入或發揮得如此好。

林嘉欣,外界一致好評不絕,可能她真的演活了一個反叛的現代中學生。但是本人對現代中學生了解不夠,所以對她演技不想評論。不過現在的中學生如果真若她演的那樣膽大妄為,那樣善於挑情,學習態度及對老師的態度那樣惡劣,我會覺得遺憾,同時也不會再懷疑近期為甚麼那麼多老師自殺了!

譚俊彥演繹一個老老實實的乖乖仔,演得不錯。當他知道自己身份後的戲也演得很自然、不過火。

我覺得[男人四十],劇情看來很簡單,但是想深一層,可以想好多天。因為它領你想到及領悟到人與人之間的微妙關係:師生戀、夫妻之愛情、父母子女之親情、友情…..以及各種處境下各人處事的方式,可以說是日常生活中的一切人際關係。是值得一看再看的一部好電影。而每次看都會得到一些新的靈感、一些新的啟發。確是一部成功的電影!

Review - [July Rhapsody]

I don't often go for Hong Kong produced movies. Because of Anita Mui and Ann Hui, I went to see [July Rhapsody].  Of course, both of them didn't fail me.  On the contrary, I'm totally elevated by this movie.

This movie, on the whole, is above the normal standard of Hong Kong production, or even all Ann Hui's past movies.  The script is good, the structure of the movie is good, the director is skilful and the performance of all actors and actresses are better than expected.  No wonder, it received so many nominations overseas and 8 nominations for the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

I like Ann Hui's style.  I'm impressed by the way she tells the story to the audience.  There is such subtlety that she just describes everything lightly, and by some simple conversation between different rolls, the whole story is laid vividly in front of the audience and the character and insight of each roll is revealed so nakedly.  There is no exaggeration, but it is very effective and efficient.  The audience is brought into the centre theme of the story naturally.  Being an audience, you just feel everything just goes on smoothly and comfortably around you.

From the student, Karena Lam, who entices Jacky Cheung, who recalls the image of his wife during her school days.  He reflects how he fell in love with her as being her class- mate. He also recalls that Mr Ching, his Chinese Literature teacher, once he respected him most, but soon became someone he hates and despises most because Ching's love affair with his student, Anita Mui, now Jacky's wife. The reappearance of Mr Ching, and the meeting of him and Anita Mui, makes Jacky's hatred of Mr Ching aggravated and his jealous that seems never exists all exploded.

However, during the conversation between Anita Mui and her son, Shaun Tam, by just saying: [ If I married him only to solve my problem, do you think we could stick together for 20 years?] she shows her love for Jacky for those past 20 years, though at the moment of marriage, she had no love for him. But she admits she put all the blames on Mr Ching when he left her, regardless if he knew she was pregnant or not. This is just human nature. 20 yeast have already passed, she has no feeling for him now. However, she doesn't really understand why she wants to see Mr. Ching again. I believe, subconsciously she wants to tell Mr Ching about their son, and it is about time that Shaun learn about his real father. 

By his own love affair with his student, Karena, and their one night - stand at Shenzhen, Jacky finally understands how could a love affair happen between Mr Ching and his student. So he forgives Mr Ching and goes to see him at his death -bed.  But when his wife doesn't show too much concern about his spending night outside, he feels more guilty and at the same time doubts again about his wife's love for him, and complains that she always dwells on her old love.  His comments [yes, you know typical Chinese] and [the mortgage has been paid off already] really hurt and upset Anita Mui.  She can no longer hold back her grudge as being misunderstood by her husband for her purpose of staying with him for 20 years, she can no longer hold back her tears but cries……….. besides, paying mortgage or supporting the whole family, as a husband, Jacky never understands his wife's love for him and her psychological needs.

If only with a good script and a good director, there can never be a good movie without good actors/actresses.  So all the casting for different roles for this movie is carefully chosen. Many reviews say Jacky Cheung's performance makes the role of that teacher alive.  But I feel that Jacky's own personality is so close to the teacher, that he has just brought himself onto the screen, he doesn't really have to act.  Ann Hui must have seen the similarity between the character of Jacky and the teacher too, so she once mentioned that if Jacky refused to accept this role, this movie wouldn't be put into production.  Of course, I won't deny that Jacky acts really very well in this movie, regardless if there is similarity of character or not.

This is the first time Anita Mui is being cast into an unimportant housewife.  But her skill of performing has reached such a level that no role would be a challenge to her.  I really admire her that she can transform herself into any role she is being cast, and then she can just act so naturally, just as her herself. Though in this movie, her part is not that much, without her chemistry with Jacky Cheung, her talent and technique of leading other performers into the theme, especially those new actors/actresses, the rest might not be able to act so well. 

Karena Lam has been highly appraised by many critics, maybe she really acts so well for the role of a rebellious secondary school student.  But, as I don’t know the present secondary students too well, I won't really comment on her performance.  I feel if the present school kids are really that daring, so expert in enticing teachers or others, the attitudes towards studying or the manner towards the teachers are so bad, just as she presents in this movie, and not exaggerated by her acting, I'm full of regrets.  Also I won't doubt about the reasons why so many teachers committed suicide recently in Hong Kong.

Shaun Tam, being cast as an honest, good mummy's boy, his performance is not bad.  When he learns about who is his true father, his can act quite naturally, his expression is just right.

[July Rhapsody] is the type of the movie that seems quite simple, but it is not as simple as it appears.  It makes you think and if you think about it more carefully, it can take you days to explore deeper.  It makes you feel about and realize all the intricate human relations, such as love affair between teacher and student, love between husband and wife, parental love, friendship and etc……… how different people handle things differently under certain situation.  In all, it involves all the human relations of our everyday life.  This is the type of movie that you can watch once, and watch again, but every time it will give you a new inspiration or new indication. Definitely it is a good movie.

[男人四十] 演 員 好 兩 代 師 生 戀 一 世 夫 妻 情

西

廿

[July Rhapsody], good actors and actresses . Romance between teacher and student for 2 generations. Feelings between husband and wife for life.

(Mingpao Special Column)  [July Rhapsody], directed by Ann Hui, screenplay by ivy Ho, is a film about a subtle love relation between a teacher and a student. Such love, as normally a most disgusting topic, is handled so well in this movie and expressed in an artistic way.

It is most unexpected that the top singer, Jacky Cheung, when plays a role of Chinese Literature teacher, can act like a real teacher. Jacky Cheung usually can immerse himself in a character when he is given the cast. His acting has been outstanding, such as in Wong Kar Wai's [Mongkok Carmon], Lau Hown Chuen's [Tsui Yit], Fong Ling Tsang 's [Special Detective] and etc. But so far he has played roles of rash young guys. This time he is cast as an upright middle aged teacher, and he acts so well that is beyond expectation.

In the movie, his character is upright, and he won't do anything behind the back of anybody. But he can't resist the lures of a pre-matured student, cast by Karena Lam, so he can no longer be regarded as a faithful husband to his wife, played by Anita Mui. It is very funny that in this movie, the male teacher is not allowed to talk back to students. So nowadays it is really very difficult to be a teacher, especially how male teachers should react to female students. Jacky Cheung has to listen to Karena Lam obediently. She demonstrates the character of soft side and tough element of a beautiful youthful girl.

In [July Rhapsody], the human relations are interwoven exquisitely, and that is all reflected in the love between a teacher and a student for 2 generations. The wife, Anita Mui, fell in love with her teacher when she was a secondary school student. Even after 20 years, she still can't forget about her lover of those old days. After all Jacky Cheung can't be considered as fully unfaithful. Actually he has fulfilled his responsibility as a husband. One is a good husband, the other is a good wife, and both are good parents. But certain things in life just happen beyond their control.

The part of the wife is very difficult to play, but Anita Mui has done very well. She is quiet, but very natural, and calm. As a matter of fact, the female characters of this film are all more initiative and opinionative.

Shaun Tan acts as the son of this couple, and he is a university student. He is too much a mommy's boy, and too quiet. But Shaun Tan has quite different image in this movie as from his cast in [Midnight Fly], in which he played the role of a rascal. So he plays an entirely different character in this movie. It seems he can play a greater diversity of roles than his father, Dick Lung.

There is a scene only of actors, which is interesting. It is a dinner party of Jacky Cheung with other alumnus. Most of those present hold high position with different organizations, and have prominent social status. So this social gathering fully reflects the present life-style of the middle class Hong Kong people. It is characteristic of Gau Mun Fai's [Never Grown Up] and [No Advancement]. It is funny but true too.

For this column, I have already written a review on [July Rhapsody], but this article discussed mostly about the actors and actresses. About the script, the two love stories between the teacher and the student of two generations, plus the problem between the school and the family, also the contrast between ordinary family and rich class, between Hong Kong and Shenzen, gives a touch of reality. It can't be denied that the subtlety of how the story of this movie has been handled has its advantages and disadvantages. For some critical parts, the script can be a bit elaborated than just touches the point. Besides, TV screen is often used when literature and poems are introduced, this method is a handicap, there should be better ways.

This melodrama is about love and human relations, and involves a strong feeling about Chinese Culture. Nowadays it is not easy to find this type of film among Hong Kong production.

by Shek Kee

 

難得的《男人四十》 重新發揮師生與家庭題材

使  

西 使

 

滿 便  

調

Review: South China Morning Post, Jan 3, 2002
 

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Last updated: June 24, 2004.