Fantasy of a Sexist Director and Little Women -- Beyond our Ken

Director: Pang Ho-cheung
Screenplay: Pang Ho-cheung
Cast: Gillian Chung, Tao Hung, Daniel Wu, Jim Chm, James Wong

Seeing the despondent Gil (Gillian Chung) on screen, audiences can't help but hiss at Ken, played by Daniel Wu. But still, not unliked Gil, it is hard not to have a soft spot for such a dishy man. Her ostensible revenge is but another manifestation of her obsessive love, the possessive urge for his key, his pickle. At the end of the day, it is the director's wishful thinking, that those who carry the torch must be ‘little” women, and to them, it is till “moral” death doth us part.

Pang’s previous works You Shoot, I Shoot and Men Suddenly in Black are both about the impotency of men, and hit the mark in the masculine self-mockery and soul-searching. However, Beyond Our Ken exposes his sexist side. It is an unreserved fantasy of an imaginary little woman and an all too real sexist. 

I love Gil, unreservedly, but the avenging Gil is far from lovable, because she is a manipulated character. In the end the two girls give each other a look and smile, putting a full stop to the avenging ploy. They may have found that the man is not so important after all, now that they are good friends. This is just creepy. This bosom friend attitude may explain their nonchalance of losing their man, but the subtext of “we the girls” reveals that these new age women are no “Joan of Arc”. This conventional fallback put them squarely back in the traditional phallus worshipping camp.

By Chan Ka Ming

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