For sure, everyone has an idea on what kind of life they want, or how simple or complicated they want it to be. A simple life for me is being able to own my time, spending the day reading or writing, occasionally going to the bookstore to browse or the mall to chill. Sounds like a bum’s life.
But A Simple Life, the movie, does not seem to be simple at all. When I watched the trailer, I wanted to cry.
It’s been some time since I saw Andy Lau in a movie worth wasting two hours of my time. I wasn’t able to finish What Women Want, which just totally wasted the chance of Andy and Gong Li finally working together in one film. It was trashy. But A Simple Life is not a typical Andy Lau movie.
It co-stars Andy with his real life godmother, Deannie Yip, who is a doyenne in Hong Kong cinema. It also has cameos by Tsui Hark and Sammo Hung as Andy plays a movie investor while Deannie is his ah ma who has taken cared of him and his family. It may remind us of those ah mas who have taken cared of us before.
The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and even received a standing ovation.
Some felt though that the movie was too long at 118 minutes so the producers have vowed to cut it for commercial release. Despite the length and slow pace, it still got a warm reception compared to the much ballyhooed Seediq Bale, which may have been affected by the tussle between Taiwan and China over its country representation. (Or perhaps Seediq Bale’s theme on the Seediq warriors that fought the Japanese occupants in Taiwan is just too esoteric by nature.)
There is an amusing scene in the movie between the ah ma (Deannie) and his ward (Roger) that jokingly referred to Aaron Kwok and his girlfriend, Lynn Xiong:
Tao Jie: “Is that your girlfriend? The tallest one? Looked like a model.”
Roger: “She’s a model.”
Tao Jie: “Why didn’t you get married with her?”
Roger: “She’s with Aaron Kwok.”
I’ve missed watching Asian films in the cinema. I’m looking forward to watching this one. Did I say that watching movies is also part of my vision of a simple life?