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月亮 星星 太陽 (1988)
Moon, Star, Sun

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/12/2009
Summary: a heavy melodrama

Moon, Star, Sun is a heavy melodrama about 80's Hong Kong club girls that features endless brutality against women, both physically and psychologically. Typical Michael Mak heavy-handed direction manages to elicit compelling performances from 3 leading ladies, Cherie Chung, Carol Cheng, and lovely, young Maggie Cheung. For an updated version of this story, check out Herman Yau's Whispers and Moans [2007].

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Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 07/27/2005
Summary: A real weeper

This story of three club girls is an over the top melodrama in which the women are beaten, raped, robbed and brutalized by the men in their lives. Each of the leading ladies is given a few scenery chewing moments and each makes the most of it.

Maggie Cheung is May, a young woman who is forced to work at the China City club as a hostess by her evil stepfather in order to pay off his gambling debts. The stepfather, played with leering, gap-toothed malevolence by Wing Chi Keung, thinks he should be congratulated for not having slept with her—obviously home is a place to get away from.

Cheri Chung is GiGi who has been working at the club for a while in order to raise the money to finance an appeal to get her husband out of jail. Like all good girls attracted to bad guys, she stands by her man—until he shows his true character.

Carol Cheng is Porsche, a veteran of the clubs who is definitely on the downside of her career. She is an alcoholic, spinning out of control and on the edge of being dumped into a smaller, less swank club. When the club owner is about to fire her, she defends herself by reminding him that she isn’t choosy—she will go with a client “even if he is an Indian or a Negro.”

Woo Gam is the hostess den mother, renting rooms to the girls, getting them to the beauty shop, making sure they are at work on time. She acts as a shoulder to cry on—plenty of that—and also as the only thing the club girls can aspire to if they stay. And things are set up so that they almost have to stay.

Club life is depicted as disgusting, dangerous and depraved for the women, many of whom are working off loans to loan sharks. The customers are a joyless lot, quick to anger and anxious about their standing in the club. The owners make bundles of money.

Each of the featured club girls gets involved with a man—and each suffers for it. May is dumped by her fiancé, GiGi’s husband steals the money she has saved and Porsche is literally thrown in the garbage by her first love who turns out to be a Triad connected slob.

From the time we meet the club girls things go badly for them. In each case they are given a touch of hope, but only so that when their lives collapse, the hopes dashed add even more pathos to the scene.

Recommended for those who like weepy melodrama or any of the three featured actresses.

Reviewer Score: 6