A Youth Film - Truth or Dare: 6th Floor Rear Flat

Youth, can be very simple; youth film, it turns out, can also be very simple.

Local youth films are invariably of two patterns: either they are like Herman Yau's Give Them a Chance, a tale of struggling for ideals from beginning to end, with a happy ending to make it encouraging; or they are like Shui Gaai Chung's Feel 100% 2003, in which everyone falls in love, falls out of love, or engages in the eternal triangle. Love means everything and love is everything.

It has been a long time since I was touched by a local youth film. Truth or Dare:6th Floor, Rare Flat is a surprise indeed.

Probably because the director Wong Chen Chen is herself so very young, hence the script she co-wrote with Lawrence Cheng and Cheung Fan is light, not burdened with lessons in struggling for ideals, and it is not fluffed up with puppy love either. There are ideals: Karena Lam wants to write a novel, Lawrence Chou to cut a record, and Patrick Tang wants to get rich...... and there is love: Candy Lo wants to keep her two boyfriends, Lawrence Chou has a crush on his housemate, and Sammy was so hurt when his puppy love turns gay...... The arrangement is a bit haphazard, and the jokes are barely funny and some even politically incorrect. But just because it is not calculated, it feels real and personal. The development is linked by the "Truth or Dare" game. The game itself is metaphorical - youth is really made up of truth and dare. If the ideal is unrealistic, let it go; if the love is unrealistic, let it fade. Youth means dare to be true to oneself and to one’s friends.

Such frankness and sincerity is the continuation of Wong Zhen Zhen's Women's Private Parts. The touching thing is, "Truth or Dare" is made by the young for the young. I am not negating youth films made by more seasoned filmmakers. I just want to point out that this industry can use the touch of young filmmakers to give youth film fresh air. The success of Merry Go Round a couple of years ago is a good example.

Ideals do not have to be parents insisting their son to further his studies, but the son finding out that "mum knows music better than I do". Love does not have to have a conclusive end, it can be a torch song, a doomed love, and it needs not to have an outcome...... This is youth. Truth or Dare: 6th Floor, Rare Flat is an authentic youth film: simple, and truly young at heart.

By Chan Ka Ming

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