RkL (1988)
Love Soldier of Fortune

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 11/04/2007

“Love Soldier of Fortune” is a very lightweight romantic comedy with a simple script, competent direction, a winning cast of comedy veterans and very basic, even by Hong Kong standards, below the line items like sets, costumes, hairdressing and makeup. The story revolves around Maggie Cheung, a Hong Kong DJ and the efforts of two men, one a successful singer/songwriter the other a piano tuner, to win her love. The piano tuner is helped by the ghost of his long dead grand-greatuncle who was a successful composer of pop tunes in the past. Based on the furniture, especially an antique looking Victrola type record player in his abandoned house into which Alan Tam moves, Uncle Go was active in the 1940s. He hasn’t lost his touch, though, since he writes songs for his nephew Antonio who sells them to the insufferable musician Lam in order to buy food for Uncle Go. This brand of ghost needs regular nourishment and does very well on large helpings of candles. The songs are hits for Lam who is the other claimant for So See Dai’s heart.

So See Dai has an odd outlook on life and love. On one hand she thinks very highly of innate talent and has already fallen for Lam based solely on the songs that he bought from Alan. Conversely she is very taken with Alan even though his only talent is perfect pitch which he uses in his piano tuning work. This comes out during a disastrous live interview that she does with Alan during which he becomes passionate when discussing how much he suffers when he hears something that is out of tune.

Sandra Ng as Candy brings her uniquely entertaining version of a love and sex starved woman, first going after Alan and then becoming involved—really involved—with a coworker Saridon, memorably underplayed by Nat Chan. Their coupling takes place as part of an extended sequence that has most of the laughs in the film. Uncle Go needs to distract them so he first sends Saridon sprawling. When that isn’t enough he trips, pushes, pokes and nudges Candy and him into a passionate clutch on the couch. He then slides over to the piano, grabs Alan’s hands, moving them to play his latest song. In what might be a parody of a hyper-romantic pianist, Alan’s movements are exaggeratedly large and sweeping. There is the usual now you see him and now you don’t camera work, with the ghost invisible when the camera takes the point of view of a character other than Alan but otherwise visible to the audience.

The lack of attention to (or lack of money spent on) the props, settings and costumes became more obvious as the movie went on. Sandra Ng as a femme fatale on the prowl was dressed in red and black—but looked like she was wearing a scarlet opera cape over a black slip dress, not typical office attire. Maggie was stuck in dull colored sweaters and slacks that looked literally several sizes too large. An outfit like that can look cute once but until the very end it was they way she was dressed in every scene. Fortunately she had a lot of screen filling close-ups which are an essential part of any movie with her—at it is for her fans one of which I am. She was still learning to act during her forced march through a movie every six weeks or so during the late 1980s but the camera never loved her more.

For those interested in ephemera, Maggie’s character said during her radio show that she was 168 centimeters tall and weighed 49 kilograms.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/19/2003

Another romance/comedy, part one of the better ones during the 80's.

Worth tracking down.


Reviewed by: Yellow Hammer
Date: 05/10/2001
Summary: decent romantic comedy

Antonio Go (Alan Tam) is a piano tuner who works for a company specializing in higher-end pianos. He fantasizes about radio DJ So See-Dai (Maggie Cheung). Candy Ho (Sandra Ng) is a job-router who likes Antonio. Saridon (Natalis Chan) is a goofy fellow tuner who likes Candy. Lam Shu Fu (Miu Kiu Wai) is a sleazeball famous lyricist and composer. Antonio's deceased great grand-uncle (Stanley Fung) is a brillant composer who appears in the form of a ghost.

The movie centers around the romance that develops between Antonio and See-dai, with Shu Fu as competition. Nice romantic movie.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/21/1999

It starred Alan Tam as a piano tunist. He secretly likes a DJplayed by Maggie. Sandra Ng is a secretary who likes Alan, while their co-worker played by "Ah Leck" likes Sandra. When Alan's mom moves to Canada, Alan is forced to move back to his dead grandparents' house haunted by his grandfather's ghost played by Fung Shui Fan(?) who writes music. After saving Maggie from an evil musician, Alan becomes friend with her. But needing money, Alan is forced to sell music written by his grandfather to the evil musician for really cheap. On the other hand, the musician makes lots of money from it. He even got Maggie to like his music and starts dating her until she found out they were written by Alan when she picks up a music sheet Alan dropped. She convinces Alan to sing and starts going out with him until Alan is starting to acts like the evil musician. She forces him to enter into a song writing competition which he is not doing so well because his grandfather decided to leave Canada for his long lost love.

[Reviewed by Lawrance W Lee]