Director: Gary Tang
Cast: Tony Leung, Kenny Bee, Michelle Reis, Stephen Fung, Esther Kwan
Healing Hearts is a prequel to a TV sitcom written by Gary Tang. The film revolves around several main characters including Lawrence (Tony Leung), Paul (Kenny Bee) and Jackie (Michelle Reis). Jackie, a young and beautiful girl, is the patient of Doctor Paul Fong. During Jackie's treatment in the hospital, Paul falls in love with her gradually. However, the one on Jackie's mind is not Paul. It is Paul's colleague Lawrence. Lawrence and Jackie soon become lovers. As time goes by, Lawrence discovers that there is a tumor in Jackie's brain...
The director is very cautious in dealing with minor details, which results in certain interesting scenes. For instance, when Jackie first moves to Lawrence's house, the incompatibility of their live styles has created some funny moments, and I would say, it is the only part I love about this film.
Although the story of the film is unattractive, Tony Leung does perform well. No matter the gestures or the facial expressions, or even the postures, we can see his calmness and confidence obviously. Michelle Reis has also improved a lot. Besides Tony Leung and Michelle Reis, there is really nothing appealing in this film.
Watching this film is like watching a TV serial play, Gary Tang is no doubt an expert on melodrama. But hey, it is a movie, not a sitcom! What is the problem then?
I know this film serves as a prequel to a TV serial play, but I really couldn't tolerate the television production approach employed by the filmmaker. The main plot is extremely dry and insipid, it is just like Tang's old TV sitcom. No matter the cinematic technique or the narrative convention, everything still remains at the mediocre level of TV production. There are only several settings throughout the films. It is either the hospital or the pub. It gives us a feeling that this film is a low budget production. But on the other hand, this film employs an all star casts, which is a total waste. There are lots of supporting characters in the film, but it is not easy to find out their real function. It seems that they do not act as a dynamic or progressive force for the plot at all. The entire plot of the film also lacks climactic moment, there is no excitment or stimulation for the spectactors.
In conclusion, this film does not look like a film, but it also does not totally resemble a TV serial. It creates such an embarrassing situation for both the filmmakers and the spectators.
VCD (HK version) - If you have watched Gary Tang's TV sitcom before, you will probably realize the image quality of the film is not that important. It is still the same use of close-up and on-the-nose dialogues. There is no reason to get the DVD at all, unless you are a die-hard Tony Leung fan and you have to collect every of his films.
Cool guy(s) - Tony Leung, Michelle Reis
Reviewed by: Kantorates