Reviewed by: ryan
Summary: Social Worker from the Edge, The (1999)
Recently, Miss CHAN Hang-yin has been quite busy in films, participating in her father Frankie CHAN Fun-kei's new work. Currently, we can see her in the latest B&S DV production 'The Social Worker from the Edge' along with CHAN Shan-chung (who has been quiet recently). Clearly, she's keen to get into the business.
'The Social Worker form the Edge' opens with the ghost of social worker LAM Ming-yuet (CHAN Han-yin); who is working with dead-end kids and trying to find the rapist who drove her suicide. Meanwhile her bereaved boyfriend and Shun-leung (CHAN Shan-chung), who was due to marry her.
Then the movie flashes back to the days when they were dating. A gang of young kids -- Sara (LAM Yi-tung), Angel, Cindy and Butt shoplifted in a supermarket. Shun-leung and Ming-yuet tried to persuade them to behave. One of them, Sara, started to fall for Shun-leung; but she was jealous because Ming-yuet's presence forced her to keep her love secret. Then suddenly Ming-yuet was raped by a young kid, and found herself driven to suicide.
But it turns out that the real situation is more complicated than this. There's a secret......
'The Social Worker from the Edge' is titled 'Ghost Social Worker' in Chinese. But the main focus of the movie is on two things -- the love between Shun-leung and Ming-yuet, and their counselling dead-end kids. As regards the first, the movie gives a complete story. You can see how their love started out, grew and died. However, I think the filmmakers could have added something to make the whole process more romantic and improve the movie in general. As it stands it looks a bit pale.
As for their roles as social workers, I think some more attention to how they handle the kids they're counselling would have helped. Something showing their feelings and disagreements as they handle their cases would have added to the drama as well. 'The Social Worker from the Edge' is a bit boring and it could use something like this to spice it up.
The plot is not too bad but I regret to say that the acting in the movie is terrible. The main problem is casting. LAM Ming-yuet's character seems a bit weird, it just doesn't come across properly. When she's with Sara she looks like a gang leader and sounds like a headmistress. When she's dealing with kids she acts more like a she's a policewoman giving them a hard time than a social worker counselling them. And from the way she acts with Shun-leung, you'd never suspect that they were a couple.
It seems that most of the cast has participated in some of the B&S DV productions before. Several of them could do with some more work on their basic acting.
One thing that I would like to point out is the sound in this movie. This is a bit annoying throughout. I understand that B&S productions have tried to preserve the original voices recorded during filming instead of dubbing them in post-production. The problem is that they haven't done enough to avoid the background noises. Some sections of the film are so noisy that you cannot hear the dialogue at all. For some scenes, it seems like they are filming during work on a nearby construction site, which is very annoying. I think B&S had better find a way to solve these problems.