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摩登姑婆屋 (1999)
The House of No Man


Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 11/21/1999
Summary: House of No Man, The (1999)

To date, B&S Productions has released more than 15 Digital Video films. People who have seen them consider the film 'Our Last Day' by director CHENG Poi-shu, to be the company's best. CHENG Poi-shu is now releasing his second DV Proudction for B&S -- 'The House of No Man'. This time around the story is not written by him.

'The House of No Man' is a story about three women - each has their own problems with men. May falls in love with her colleague Eric MA, who has a wife. May cannot love Eric like a normal couple and she feels like an undercover lover. Candy is a girl with lots of lovers but none of them stay in her life for very long. She feels hurt and is bored of her current lifestyle. Gigi is a writer of children's books. She is still trying to discover what love is. The three lonely girls decide to live together to make their lives less boring... but the result is not as good as they had expected.

'The House of No Man' is simply a story about three women taking a vacation from men. It is broken up into three stages -- passage, inside, and exit. The movie is able to communicate this idea very clearly. The audience is able to understand and identify with the girl's situation, as there is a specific story given to each girl.

For most audiences, however, the slow pace of the story, makes it hard for them to consider the film completely entertaining. The film gives the audience the feeling that the movie is too long. Sometimes, a movie needs to be long, and part of the film is represented visually on the screen. Unfortunately, this is not the case for 'The House of No Man'. The film includes a two minute scene zooming along the beach with background music which won't be appreciated by the audience - they only consider it as a signal for them to sleep in the threatre!

The slow pace of the movie also shows that the movie lacks content to fill the whole 80 minutes. The central problem is the script. The direction has tried its best to make the production okay. For example, an effort is made by adding a musical score to make the visuals less boring.

One thing I would like to point out is that the image quality for 'The House of No Man' is better than that of the previous B&S Productions. Even though the contrast of the movie's images can be still better, the beach scenes are still beautiful.

In terms of acting, the three lead actresses, namely LEE Sze-pui, WONG So-ying, and CHOW Hoi-shan are all okay. Maybe they are young and this factor can explain part of their immature acting. Still it looks okay.

On a whole, 'The House of No Man' is a simple story about the process of three girls spending their days without men. The idea is okay. It would be more acceptable if they can put in more developments into the movie to make the pace a bit faster... like a 'Truman Show' shower scene with all three girls! Wah!