Saturday, September 5, 2020

My Prince Edward / 金都 - Movie Review

The Movie: My Prince Edward / 金都

The Director: Norris Wong

The Cast: Stephy Tang, Pak Hon Chu, Hee Ching Paw, Jin Kai Jie

The Story: A thirty something year old woman living in Hong Kong discovers, just as her boyfriend of seven years proposes, that she was never divorced from a sham marriage she agreed to for money ten years prior.

The Review:
What does it mean to love? What does it mean to live? What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to be any of these things living in Hong Kong? These are the questions that director Norris Wong asks in regards to the lives of women in one of the largest cities in the world. Wong boldly navigates through the blase mindset of a thirty something woman who is realizing that the decisions she has made in life up to this point are no longer lining up with what she is now wanting her life to be.

One of the most relatable things about this movie is how Stephy Tang brilliantly presents her character Fong in an increasingly detached way just as life around her is getting more and more intense. You see how she rejects moments where women are supposed to be so happy and accepting of their place in what are meant to be inevitable events. The best example is the look on her face when her boyfriend proposes during an elaborate presentation in front of friends and family that he had been planning for months.

As a director and a storyteller, Wong does such a good job of presenting a movie that completely shuns the status quo of what is expected from Hong Kong cinema and also what is expected of women in Hong Kong. It's hard to label this movie because it doesn't fall into any of the normal boxes you would be looking for and what makes it so special is how honest it is. She also does an excellent job, with the help of cinematographer Ho Wai Pong of showing the city in a different way than it is normally presented. It is still the large, vibrant city we're accustomed to, yet we also get to see the deep layers of culture and society not normally given cinematic treatment.

For me, being a man living in America, I'm guessing there is a fair amount of cultural and societal nuance woven into the story that didn't register with me so other viewers might even have a more affecting experience with the story than I did which is perfectly fine. I still loved the movie, the story being told, and the performances all the way around. Stephy Tang has built a very impressive resume and what she does in this movie proves the strength of her abilities as an actor. Add in the fact that this is Norris Wong's first feature film and the movie becomes that much more impressive.

The Verdict:
My Prince Edward is a beautifully crafted movie that takes an unexpected look at love and life from the perspective of a 30 something woman in Hong Kong. Director Norris Wong kicks convention to the curb, creates her own brand of cinematic exploration, and comes away with an engaging and thought provoking experience.

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