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Chinese: 頭號人物 "He's so dreamy."
Emil Chow and Daniel Wu
Year: 2001
Director: Leo Heung Lap-Hung
Producer: Nam Yin
Cast: Emil Chow Wah-Kin, Maggie Cheung Ho-Yee, Daniel Wu, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Grace Yip Pui-Man, Oscar Leung Lit-Wai, Simon Lui Yu-Yeung, Ching Ho-Wai, Lee Wai-Kei, Lee Shun-Yan
The Skinny: Surprising low-key drama is well-made and thoughtful—both rarities for a Hong Kong film. While nothing new, the result is a worthy, albeit minor effort.
by Kozo:

The world of Hong Kong reporters gets a mild exploration in this thoughtful drama that's surprisingly decent. Emil Chow stars as Sorrow, a veteran reporter who's stuck in a dehumanizing grind. He's long since lost any scruples he might have had, and is too busy chasing juicy leads to pay attention to new recruit Peter (Daniel Wu). Peter is a neophyte reporter fresh from the states, who still has that amusing "idealistic" view of being a reporter. He tracks down a story involving a young woman (Grace Yip) who's raising her two brothers alone, but his good intentions create more problems than he realizes. Rounding out the trio of journalists is Joey (TVB star Maggie Cheung Ho-Yi), who gets involved with a young triad while trying to write a story about him.

While the topic could be played for sensationalism, the plotline of this film is strictly —and gratefully—humanistic. The three reporters encounter situations which cause them to reevaluate their professions. Who are they responsible to: the public's need to know, or the subjects which they write about? The writing can be a bit maudlin and clichéd, but the film maintains a consistent human core, and Leo Heung's low-key direction keeps things moving in an engaging manner. The actors uniformly handle their parts well, with Maggie Cheung (no, not that Maggie Cheung), Emil Chow and Lai Yiu-Cheung turning in stand-out performances. The ultimate message is nothing new, but Headlines is a refreshing change of pace. It's nice to see an alternative to the usual glib existentialism or wacky hijinks that Hong Kong throws our way. Wong Jing, are you paying attention? (Kozo 2001)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Chinastar Entertainment
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Chinastar Entertainment, Ltd.

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