WONDER WOMEN | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

WONDER WOMEN

Handover year 1997 sees much drama for Joy (Gigi Leung), the chief financial officer of a big company. She struggles to keep her family life together, as her husband is forced to relocate to Singapore due to his British affiliation and her son is stricken with disease. Joy`s best friend and assistant (played by Fiona Sit) is a young girl trying to figure out her dodgy boyfriend. Still, she tries to help but Joy plunges into deeper despair due to her family problems. One day, the torment becomes unbearable and Joy breaks down. Things look bleak for the both of them until a friend makes good on an old promise and brings them all within sight of happiness again.

Language: Cantonese
Subtitle: NA
Classification: U
Release Date: 12 Jul 2007
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN SCREEN CINEMAS
Cast: Fiona Sit, Gigi Leung
Director:
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Effects: NA
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Watch this if you liked: "Mr Cinema", "Hooked On You"

Picked by the People's Republic Of China as the official film to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's restoration to the Mainland, I, like many H.K. movie fans, would do good to warn viewers of films with such a billing, considering the political situation which bred the recent spate of films playing around 1997 as a theme.

While Samson Chiu's celebrated "Golden Chicken" (with Sandra Ng playing a whore) was poignantly indulgent, it did serve to show how H.K. people view themselves against the eyes of the world. Watching "Wonder Women" seem to promise an executive-corporate version of the same events but something was starkly missing amidst the real estate crashes, mass retrenchments and tragic suicides.

Where did it all go wrong? Gigi Leung, noted by some for never having a serious role, performs her utmost best, to my surprise. In fact, she acts her part as the corporate ball-breaker, Joy, with so much grit that at some angles she even looked like Chow Yun Fat! Even the peripheral cast (Fiona Sit plays a "Devil Wears Prada" Canton cutie and George Lam lends his moustache for a cameo) pull their weight. However actress-director Barbara Wong lets them down by sensationalising the drama a little too much, making love seem more important than it is, and sometimes making love out of nothing at all.

While the cultural details are wonderful - 'Tamagotchis', real news footages and face masks for the SARS outbreak - I'm concerned about whether we're sending the right message to people with this film, as its ending seems to trivialise moral happiness by glorifying the power of money. Conspiracy theorists will no doubt say this is precisely what the Mainland wanted to pacify the Chinese in H.K. to feel, now that better times can be expected. It's a curious aspect to the film indeed - the way by which every character seemed to have a ready means of redemption, sometimes beyond belief.

Anything censored? I suspect there is a jump cut where some Malaysian buildings are shown on a news telecast as it is about to report an indiscretion about the Asian financial crisis not welcome by our censors. Not that we care now, anyway.

At its simplest, "Wonder Women" falls short in achieving the full emotional punch it could have delivered, given the chances it had to really connect the women more convincingly with their woes. At a deeper level, one seeking a political allegory to what the H.K. people really feel about the Handover will find the exercise lost in a hurried bevy of champagne and cheers.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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