s} (1961)
Plighted Lovers

Reviewed by: dleedlee
Date: 04/13/2005

A quick count shows that Patrick Tse and Patsy Ka Ling starred in some 40-plus films together. This one falls somewhere, chronologically, in the middle. Dramatically, this romance also falls towards the middle of the scale. Patrick Tse is certainly suave and handsome enough as a lead. Patsy Ka Ling, so far, doesn't do much for me and strikes me as rather bland from what I've seen of her.

The story: Mei (Ka Ling) is a party girl recovering from an illness (one, apparently, exacerbated by drinking alcohol). Lok Ga-Chiu is the doctor that comes to tend to her. Mei runs around with a bad crowd led by Tong (Lee Pang Fei). Tong has a band of cronies, the modern day posse, that includes the likes of Ng Tung, Fung King Man Lee Sau Kei and Lok Gung. Mei and Ga-Chiu's burgeoning romance and Mei's makeover to become a "good" girl is interrupted when Ga-Chiu's uncle (Lo Dun) intervenes hoping to marry off his own daughter, Ga-Chiu's cousin, Gam-Wah (Kong Suet), to the doctor. Uncle Pong paints Mei as a simple golddigger to Lok. Mei and Ga-Chiu give up their brief happy existence together, Mei going back to Tong's club, while Ga-Chiu starts to hit the bottle. Hence, the "plight" of the title.

The second half of the rather long film picks up when Gam-Wah discovers her father's machinations and intervenes to reunite the rightful lovers. Kong Suet gets quite a few lovely closeups as she nobly goes against her father to unplight the couple. There's one taut gambling scene between Lee Pang Fei and Patrick Tse when Ga-Chiu gambles his wedding dowry hoping to win enough money to satisfy Mei's alleged greed.

The film is well made with production values, decent sets, atmospheric lighting, a notable cast. However, too many scenes are lengthy expository dialogue and voice over narration. Quite simply, too often, not much happens on the screen. That's a plight, indeed.

Reviewer Score: 6