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Capsule Reviews

July Rhapsody    (2002)
This is a nice new feature film from director Ann Hui. She made Visible Secret before, a commercial standard ghost movie. There are obviously contrasts between the two movies. July Rhapsody has well written characters (with solid performances from by Jacky Cheung, Anita Mui and Karena Lam). On top of that, Ann Hui's mise-en-scene is sober, with no excessive camera work or face-paced editing. July Rhapsody deals with a middle age teacher (Jacky Cheung) who starts to wonder about what he's been doing so far in his life and if it actually did worth it. He thinks he falls for one of his students or maybe it's only an excuse to change his everyday life. All is life has been built on lies, hatred and the unsaid. The 17-year old forbidden fruit (Karena Lam) is wicked. She wants to make him fall for her and she's dying to consummate their relationship. The teacher takes the opportunity to gather some courage to change things. Ann Hui only tells a very realistic story with remarkable restraint. July Rhapsody has a bitter taste for the unanswered questions on generation gap it raises and for the portrait of a man retrospectively assessing his own life. The movie is then deeply touching and for this reason it is probably the best drama of 2002, or at least it deserves to be watched by any fans of HK cinema.
Thomas Podvin 1/15/2003 - top

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