Lost in Time -- Hong Kong People Really Have Lost in Time!?

The Hong Kong of Lost in Time is a far cry from the Hong Kong of the 90s, when Love without End was filmed. The change in general livelihood of the past decade has not escaped director Derek Yee, and his focus has shifted from the affluent middle class yuppies to the hard-hit middle-aged men who have to start from scratch again. This major shift has become a major trend in local cinema of recent years.

The self-quest of a sidetracked yuppie has lost its appeal in this times when downward social mobility is real and can be permanent. But back to square one can also give rise to a story of rebirth. In the good old days Hong Kong reeked of materialistic desire, not unlike Tai-fai(Lau Ching-wan) in the film. Money came too easy to him and he sought thrills for his uneventful life in gambling, ended up broke, and his family broken. His story is not unlike post-97 Hong Kong writ small. The prosperity bubble finally burst, leaving us a former life to be nostalgic for. The down and out middle-aged man seeks a new life amid the sighs for bygone days. On the other hand, there is this young girl who tries hard to put her rosy dream behind, who was shattered by the death of her fiancé a few days before their wedding.

The sudden shattering of dream and frustration is what faced by the youth of today. In fact, Lost in Time is Derek Yee's updated and simplified version of Love Without End. This story of the grass-root minibus drivers is the Hong Kong of the new millennium, redemption with feet back on the ground. Gone is the middle class superiority, represented by the Canto pop musician who seeks to self-liberation in Temple Street, and liberates a girl there in the process. Here is a down and out middle-aged man and a young girl who help each other out rebuilding their life.

By Bunny Lee

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