Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 23th December 2012
Hong Kong Box Office Taking: HK$781,426
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The finale to the hugely popular Taiwanese hit television series “The Fierce Wife” is probably more suited to original fans of the series. As a standalone film, it feels too padded, uneven, filled with underdeveloped characters and overtly spontaneous at times. Still, some fun can be had, if you can ignore the TV-style direction, but its not hard to see how “The Fierce Wife” makes good television.
I have not seen the original television series, therefore my opinion on “The Fierce Wife” may seem rather saturated. Still, “The Fierce Wife” is essentially a final episode of a highly successful TV-series. This is a bit of a shame as a remake of the series into a film may not be entirely not plausible. This film suffers from an obvious lack of coherence, feels rather disjointed, somewhat padded and the common issue associated with most finales, which is the essence of a predictable and cliché ending. I am pretty sure that the series ended on an open ended note and the film tries hard to tie all the lose ends. However, as a standalone film (which this is never meant to be), one cannot stop noticing the gaps, the holes, the believability factor and most of all, its failure to connect with the current reviewer.
Sonia Sui headlines in the role of a ex-wife who is destroyed by a cheating husband (played by James Wen) and the film captures the years and after effects of the divorce. Four years has passed, Sui has the the choice to begin a new journey in life, in the arms of a new lover (played by Chris Wang), but Sui remains reluctant and unsure. Sui has leading actress material who suitably portrays a fragile, yet strong woman. However, this film fails to explores her inner and deeper motivations and dilemmas and instead using the art of jealousy to force an ultimate decision.
Chris Wang is insanely Aaron Kwok-like, from is head to toes mannerisms, good looks and voice. Wang is constantly wooden and lack an emotional range that the audience can truly care for. This is a common issue within the entire film, as all the male characters seem to exists for the sake of Sui’s love and nothing more.
Another issue of concern is its made for television style direction. In fact, this makes the final product more suited to the small TV-box than cinematic viewing. I am certain that the fans of the seies is unlikely to concur, but the pacing, the editing and the inconsequential dialogue are all too amateurish in terms of film making.
All in all, “The Fierce Wife” probably makes great television and is most certainly a film made for eagerly awaiting fans of a highly successful series. Having only seen the movie, I can only judge this episode of the film. However, the film does have some good moments and the way it deals with the complications of modern relationships is at times worthy of our attention. Still, as a standalone film, “The Fierce Wife” doesn’t work for me, nor does it inspire me to roam into the small screen and spend hours over the original series. Fans of the series will probably get the most out of this, as for others, it is best to stay at home. (Neo 2012)
I rated it 5.5/10