Just One Look - Idol Pot Pourri

The setting provides Just One Look its two distinctive flavours. First, taking place in the 60s and 70s, it allows not a few plays on the Mandarin, Cantonese and Western movie trends of the time and dressing the characters in nostalgic costumes. Secondly, the locale is Cheung Chau and, in the living details, reminisces on the adolescent ups and downs, father-son love, the cinema, friendship, and of course, the bittersweet first love. It indeed has everything for every age group (those long in the tooth come for the 70s nostalgia, and the teens for Twins and Shawn Yu Man-lok.)

Director Yip Kam-hung's works are never mainstream. His previous work Metade Fumaca, despite its gangster framework, is surrealistic in colour. It is a finely executed work not lacking in creativity, and the one work in which Nicholas Tse, so far, shows some serious acting.

Though starring the hottest teen idols, Just One Look is nostalgic in sentiment, and it was the 70s, the period in which the current teen generation could not have experienced. Ah Fan, played by Shawn Yu, sees one movie too many and often fantasizes life as a movie plot. It conveniently allows some movies-within-movie for comic relief. In between, he is also caught between two pretty girls, played by Twins. It is basically a 'growing up in small town' movie, bearing resemblance to Italian movies such as Cinema Paradiso or Melena, full of life and fun. The point is, by having a bit of everything, the main growing-up line or love line is left underdeveloped, and the loose structure leaves no particularly touching moments. Though the beach scene near the end, when Anthony Wong bids goodbye to his little boy, is surprisingly moving. It is his performance of the year. One note of interest: unknowingly, Eric Kot, Sam Lee & co are already predecessors. Shawn Yu and Hug You-nam now replace Nicholas Tse and Sam Lee to play the buddy roles. To the stars, the replacement really is biting at the heels.

By Bono Lee

(Translated by Teri Chan)