Ex – Siff 2011 Movie Review

Ex [  Hong Kong (Cantonese), 2010, 96 minutes ]
Director: Heiward Mak
Principal Cast: Gillian Chung, William Chan, Michelle Wai
See it: May 22, 24, at SIFF

A chance encounter at the airport finds Ping and his girlfriend Cee seated at a table next to Zhou Yi and her boyfriend, Woody, who are having a conversation about whether or not it is possible to be “just friends” with an ex-lover. It turns out that Zhou Yi is Ping’s ex, and when she ends up abandoned at that airport without her passport or purse, Cee offers her a ride, and ultimately lets her crash with them at Ping’s apartment. Over the next two days we watch as Zhou Yi’s presence affects all three of them and makes them reconsider their past and present relationships.

Overall Entertainment / Enjoyment: B-
This was an enjoyable film and the cinematography utilized lighting schemes well to distinguish flashbacks vs. present day. It had fairly straightforward storyline, but there was enough creativity in the filming to keep it from being boring.

Film Festivalness: B
This is a romantic drama out of Hong Kong, which is much better known for it’s action flick exports, so it’s refreshing to see another side of Hong Kong cinema. It was artsy to a point, but not overly so, it had a well-defined plot and story progression, but jumped from past to present often.

Quality of Subtitles: C-
Definitely not the worst I’ve seen, but there were multiple typos/grammatical errors, and the dual English and Chinese characters were a little hard on the eyes.

Siff Provided Synopsis:
While Hong Kong cinema has long based its reputation on crime and action flicks, recent years have seen a boom in the number of charming romantic comedies, as evidenced by last year’s Crossing Hennessy, Love in a Puff, and now Ex. Just as Zhou Yi and her travel writer boyfriend are about to embark on their first vacation together, the couple break-up in an airport café, leaving her without a job or place to live. Fortunately, she runs into her ex-boyfriend, Ping, and his current girlfriend, Cee; both of whom offer to let Yi crash at their new apartment for a few days until her mother returns home from abroad. Despite the initial awkwardness of living together again, Yi and Ping are flooded by memories of shared highs and lows, reigniting bittersweet reminiscences in each, while the all too obliging Cee finds her patience stretched thin. Weaving flashbacks of Yi and Ping’s relationship throughout her film, writer-director Heiward Mak, who co-scripted Love in a Puff, subtly illuminates the follies and foibles found in every romance, past or present.


Provided Film Synopsis

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