Those guys at Milky Way eschew crime and give us a straight
romantic drama - Milky Way style. Like their celebrated crime
films, Sealed with a Kiss is stylish and engrossing,
and not for the common filmgoer.
This character-driven drama stars
Louis Koo as Kam Sui, a mute resident of one of HKís rural
islands. Though he canít speak, he makes do by working in
his auntís store and occasionally meting out justice when
the neighboring triads visit. The rest of his days are spent
lounging around with buddy Angel (Sue Au Suk-Ching), a skinhead
tomboy, and sometimes sparring with his punching bag.
Things change when Mandy (Milky Way
regular Yoyo Mung) comes to town. She arrives nursing a broken
heart, and proceeds to worm her way into Kam Suiís without
really trying. Despite her heartbreak, Mandy is an independent
and spirited woman. A romance counselor by profession, she
immediately becomes Kam Suiís object of affection during the
course of her stay. However, she falls for Paul (Raymond Wong),
a local fireman. Crushed, Kam Sui nonetheless urges Paul to
pursue Mandy. When Paul is tongue-tied, Kam does all the work,
including writing the love letters.
Yes, this sounds like Cyrano de
Bergerac, but a simple plot synopsis does not do this
film justice. This is a movie of detail and character, where
we learn more by what isnít said rather than what is. Told
in a spare, almost opaque style, this subtly rewarding film
manages to surprise in the smallest, but most compelling ways.
Louis Koo is excellent as Kam, and
Yoyo Mung shows that perhaps she could amount to more than
a ďflower vase.Ē Derek Chiu manages to hold back his typically
heavy-handed directorial style for something more subtle.
This is not a film for everyone, as there are no easy solutions
and a decided lack of tear-jerking pathos. However, there
are recognizable emotions at work here, and an affecting examination
of romantic longing. Probably 1999ís most underrated film. (Kozo