ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW
Chung became a fan favourite among cinema-goers with An Autumn's
Tale, Spiritual Love, Peking Opera Blues and John Woo's Once A
Thief, Chung did a number of Shaw movies which capitalised on
her good looks and, more importantly, her sensuality.
Kong, Hong Kong (1983) paired her with Alex Man, it was her sex
scene with the ageing Kwan Hoi San that provided the bite. Angie
Chan's Maybe It's Love (1984) might be an attempt to cash in on
Chung's rising popularity and the movie's posters and trailers
do not shy away from the fact that this is a film filled with
sex and nudity. But like Hong Kong, Hong Kong, there is no frontal
nudity though the film does make good with its intimations of
is a bored mistress of the rich Stuart Ong and lives in a grand
bungalow in the outback. She looks as if she spends her time between
doing aerobics (a popular fad in the '80s for those old enough
to remember) and dance exercises and jumping into bed with Ong
who visits periodically. After an accidental meeting with postman
Ken Tong, she then adds the postman to her list of things and
people to do.
In the same
village, the elderly Ku Feng, who makes a living selling paper
offerings (for the dead and the gods), has taken on a Mainland
bride, Elaine Chin. But Chin is already bored with village life
and longs for another man (she is the roving sort) and a chance
in the city. It then comes as no surprise that she willingly gives
herself to the postman as well. For Tong, the relationship is
another one of his flings but for Chin, it can well be her ticket
out of the boondocks.
incurs Chin's wrath when he ditches her for Chung and ends up
being blackmailed by Chin. A violent confrontation between Chung
and Chin one night ends with Chin missing the next day. The confrontation
is witnessed by young cripple Hsu Ke-ying (though she cannot identify
the people involved) and whose imagination leads her to deduce
that various villagers are behind Chin's disappearance.
sleazy, the first half of Maybe It's Love looks like an adult
version of numerous TV melodramas - the rich man, the bored mistress,
various third parties - plus the money shot - the sex scenes that
are tantalising but never fully revealing.
introduction of the missing person (and presumed murder), the
film then takes a different turn, venturing into what is probably
Nancy Drew territory with a nod to Hitchcock's Rear Window. Young
Hsu Ke-ying may not be wheelchair bound but like James Stewart,
she is a cripple and has a voyeuristic touch - she is constantly
spying on her surroundings through her binoculars - and the second
half of Maybe It's Love is wholly predicated on what she sees
through her lenses. But having Hsu lead all the village kids in
a murder hunt stretches things a bit too far.
child in the centre of the movie already gives the game away -
there might be thrills here and there, the child might be in danger
but there is no way they are going to kill the child. As a result,
Maybe It's Love winds its way down predictably only for director
Angie Chan to throw in a lame comment about women filmmakers (which
would have been great had it been reflexive but it is not) and
a cameo by Alex Man in the closing sequence.
acted and presented, Maybe It's Love is the kind of movie that
tries to attract both the erotic-movie crowd as well as the Happy
Ghost crowd. However, it is not a happy mix - the sex is hardly
enough to satisfy the former and probably a big turn off for the
latter who are likely to be more interested in comic-book romance
than seeing their favourite stars play musical beds.
The Maybe It's Love (IVL/Celestial) DVD is banned in $ingapore.