ReviewWriter: Cammy ZulkifliWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"200 Pounds Beauty"
"Simply Actors" reminds me of fun fairs. It has a whole lot of things going on that can suffocate and drown you. However, it does have its dose of bright 'light bulb'-like moments. Amidst the rusty and creaky old rides, there's one that's so dangerous that it's exciting. Of course, after a few rides you just feel like throwing up.
Man Long Chan (played by comedian Jim Chim) is a police constable who is sent to drama school to polish his undercover acting skills. To him, this is a chance of a lifetime. At 30, he has yet to fulfill his dream of becoming a great actor. Unfortunately for him, joining the drama school forces him to deal with a lot of things - his crumbling relationship with his girlfriend of 8 years, pressure from his younger and more talented peers at the school, and the possibility of losing his job if he doesn't pass his course with flying colours.
Man Long likes to exaggerate, which was the reason why he was sent to drama school in the first place. The tricky part is, I really couldn't tell if it was Jim Chim himself that's exaggerating the character or he's just playing a character that acts exaggeratedly. He had me fooled there, but if I had a choice, I would pick the former explanation. He reminds me of local unsuccessful comedians who thinks 'funny' is just a twitch of facial expression and loud verbal remarks. The shouting gets irritating after a while but on the other hand, I also think he's one of those comedians who mean well. He tries hard to make people laugh but unknown to him, he's really just making a fool of himself most of the time.
Charlene Choi (of pop group Twins) plays the air-headed new student Dani Dan, who instantly become friends with Man Long. Dani's only claim to fame is starring in a string of soft-core porn but her heart is pure and above all, has a genuine interest in acting. Charlene's performance, even as an annoying air-head, is sweet and credible. I don't know if I should slap or kiss her.
As usual, sex sells. I wish Jim Chim didn't have to resort to blaring sexual connotations to 'spice' things up. I cringed when, in one scene, a professor from the drama school asks his students to squat and then says, "Your voice connects to your lower 'outlet', channel it to your lower 'outlet'... Aaaaa." It was so corny.
That aside, the best thing about this movie is the cameos, which I enjoyed a lot. A host of well-known Hong Kong actors make an appearance as random characters throughout the movie - Alan Mak (director of the highly successful Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs") plays himself, veteran actor Eric Tsang (starred in "Infernal Affairs") plays a drama school professor, Sandra Ng ("Golden Chicken") as a street vendor selling handphone accessories and Anthony Wong ("Mr. Cinema") is the school's janitor. That's just some of the famous names you can find in the movie's credits.
Overall, the film isn't a disaster. It can be excruciating to some and funny to others but for me, it just takes a large space in my junk deposit box.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008