review by Neo
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Cocktail, who doesn't want to drink one? Personally Neo love the sky blue one, but why? Perhaps it is the colour, the taste, but ultimately it is the feel that it provides - it is me! Drinking is a part of social norm, and most reasonable people will not be against it, but drinking for the sake of being drunk is another story. While I have never been drunk “drunk” before, but behind every drunken stranger there lies a reason for its occurrence - wanting to forget, to be cool, love, depression, just for the sake of it. Whatever reason it may be, alcohol does provides a temporary escape route and as unethical as the following line is going to be - being drunk isn't necessary a bad thing as there is always a hidden story behind each one of them. Cocktail is a surprisingly good entry into a rarely dealt with genre that is both fascinating and complexly simple in an absolute refreshing manner.
Rarely are HK movies refreshing nowadays and refreshingly good ones are as rare as a crystal gem. Perhaps the main reasons why there are so many drinkers around is largely associated to the simple yet complicated word - memories. Sometimes you wonder whether you can just erase a memory from your brain or hoping that the next morning you woke up a section of your brain becomes empty, but then you began to pitch yourself and realise that you are just being stupid. As forgetful Neo is, memories of the past keep flashing back - good times and bad times and not so good/bad times. These are times when all you want to do is refresh yourself by drinking a bit and usually a cocktail that defines you - life is like a cocktail - sweet, bitter, salty all mixed together. The result is what shape and defines you today. Herman Yau is a damn realistic director and he is one who can deliver a truly engaging movie with an ever low budget. His movies are ever relevant and appeals to a variety of audience and really Cocktail glued me to the screen for the entire duration.
Endy Chow is a new kid on the circuit, and his portrayal of seemingly cool bartender with a hidden past is extremely convincing and at times engaging. While his emotional range is entirely questionable, fortunately he is able to drive the movie in an extremely adequate manner. His final understanding of the real reasons behind why his father constantly drink is emotionally bonding and the result is a heart felt understanding. Candy Lo is now a staple Yau's movie star and while her character remains all the more mysterious than realising, her performance is one of experience and class. While this isn't her best performance, but her coldness works to an engaging process. Race Wong continue to shines and after a huge career misstep with China's Next Top Princesses - here Wong redeems her self and more importantly played her role into a believable character.
Being in bar or working at a bar in Neo's personal experience, is very much a definition of my life - people come and go - some stay, some come back again and some I will never see again. Aspects of life, reasons for drinking and the beauty of life within a cocktail are all stuff that this film tries to express. This isn't an outright terrific film, but it is absolutely engrossing and ultimately a timely yet touching finale. People drink for their own reasons and whether we like it or not, we have to learn to respect their reasons behind each drink. Cocktail is a heck of a beautiful little film and in the process there is a definite "feel good" factor associated to it. Ultimately the film reinforces the fact that Neo loves drinking and in other words, I feel like a Cocktail tonight...
I rate it 9/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Director: Director: Ricky Lau
Cast: Endy Chow, Candy Lo, Race Wong, Eric Kot
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), April 2006