review by Neo

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Surprisingly good!
Once in a well, some random movies pop up at my door step that I either never heard or never expect to see. Some of them become some piece of gem – Love Battlefield and some quite frankly a piece of shit – Silly Kung Fu Family. Without Words, certainly isn’t an art house film, but the good news is that it isn’t totally commercial and it stars Neo’s favourite – Ella Koon! Ella Koon looks like a cute little duck, but her acting range shows much promise without distracting from the fact that she is damn hot! Yes, Neo is bias when it comes to stuff like that, but in many ways, I was expecting a pretty crap movie, but what turned out to be more meaningful and cliché that I ever imagined. In that way, it is good news, as it turns out to be a pretty surprisingly good heck of a film. Then again, there is Ella and there is a dog, how can that possibly go wrong.

Without Words isn’t exactly anything new, but what it does well is using cliché to portray something that touches the audience. While the movie isn’t on the same level as Love Battlefield, Cousin Mak is a director of much promise. In many ways the movie may seem to be a mixture of a variety of Korean movies and stuff we have all seen before, but the process is peaceful and definitely feels good. Mak uses adequate camera angles without being showy and the scenery of the sea provides a sense of hope in a rather sad movie. The story of the Little Tide is touchingly memorable about those who left will remain in our hearts forever.

Ella Koon puts in a credible debut leading performance and while her range is still questionable; her performance here is brilliant and easing to endure. The scene where she keeps saying “I love you” is memorable to endure and pleasing to remember. A touching performance nonetheless which definitely show Ella as an actress with much promise. Lawrence once again shows exactly why he is a worthy talent and continues to improve from underrated performances in AV and Eye 10. In another twist, Eric Tsang’s son – continues to appear in movies at the rate of Chapman To, like his father, he seems to be heading towards a good supporting career.

Without Words isn’t exactly the freshest movie of 2006, but the overall feel of the movie is seemingly touching and worthwhile. There are movies that you watch and at the credits one would feel wasted and regretful, but Without Words, uses cliché to trick the audience into a feel good mode. While Mak doesn’t reach the heights of Derek Yee’s romantic dramas, but given the low budget and less commercial voltage, Without Words is better than it should have been. In the state of HK cinema right now, a movie that surprises the audience is deemed to be a good one and under any circumstances Without Words is a damn good movie. While it is probably something like a collection of films we have all seen before, this film succeeds at being just that – simple yet deep, touching without being emotional and Ella without being bias. All in all, Without Words sum the theme up well and by the end, Neo himself is without words…and thinking…

I rate it 8/10.

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Genre: Romance
Director: Cousin Mak
Cast: Lawrence Chow Chun Wai, Ella Koon Yun Na,
Tsang Kwok Cheung
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), September 2006