The highly anticipated Hong Kong movie Everlasting Regret brought old Shanghai glamour to Shenzhen on Thursday with a tale of bitterness and unrequited love, while criticism still surfaced.
Stanley Kwan, the director of the Venice International Film Festival’s closing film, failed to snatch the Golden Lion for Best Film early this month, but the festival chairman Marco Muller said he was moved to tears by the film.
The visually rich film, adapted from a popular novel by Wang Anyi, follows the life of a Shanghai beauty who endures both personal upheaval and China’s social changes in modern times. Mainland fans are probably attracted by a galaxy of stars in the production, including Sammi Cheng, Tony Leung, Hu Jun and Daniel Wu.
However, audiences familiar with the novel said the production failed to convey the charm of the original novel. The writing of the original work was exquisite, attaching great importance to the interior world of the main characters, but the images in the movie seemed superficial. In the novel, the protagonist Qiyao’s life reflects the social changes, however, the movie focuses more on the love affairs.
An audience surnamed Han said: “Obviously, Sammi did a great job in acting Qiyao, but still barely satisfactory, especially her Cantonese accent. Sometimes, it is very hard to understand what she is saying, which is a failure for the Shanghai-based story.”
Critics said although the film was not as good as Kwan’s previous work, like Rouge and Center Stage, it was still a touching story with glamorous photography, which looked like an oil painting.
(Shenzhen Daily September 30, 2005)