HKIFF Review: The Way We Dance 狂舞派 (2013) – Hong Kong

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA FIPRESCI
Review Date: 10th April 2013

Directed by: Adam Wong 黃修平
Starring: Cherry Ngan 顏卓靈, Babyjohn 蔡瀚億, Lokman, Tommy Guns, Paul Wong 黃貫中, Janice Fan
Releasing in Hong Kong: July 2013

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Reviewed as part of 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival 2013

Hong Kong cinema needed a boost and “THE WAY WE DANCE” delivers something different, alternative and genuinely entertaining. Filming dance moves and hip hop is nothing new to Hong Kong cinema, while the past dance productions lack quality production values, sharp direction and consistently engagement factors. “THE WAY WE DANCE” makes no such mistakes and the result is a highly effective and polish film that is likely to engulf and inspire.

Starring a bunch of newcomers, director Adam Wong (“MAGIC BOY”) does extremely well in focusing on the strength of the actors. Cherry Ngan 顏卓靈 takes on the lead role and despite clearly raw and inexperience is able to grow into the character and by the end of the film even manages to convinces the audience. Babyjohn 蔡瀚億 is probably the highlight of the show, whose presence reminded me of a comic timing and natural presence that Stephen Chow had mastered. Every movement, gesture and looks drew a bunch of laughter. Formerly a stage actor, Babyjohn had made the most of his transition to the big screen. Most definitely an actor to watch out for. Lokman tries hard, but is constantly over shadowed by his more natural co-stars. Tommy Guns is inspirationally in a stunning scene where he dance on a second leg. While Janice Fan who plays glamour girl Rebecca is uneven at times, but like Cherry Ngan there is an airiness of rawness in her acting, where she can certainly work on. Still, she made most of her role, which can easily be over reacted or corny.

All in all, “THE WAY WE DANCE” is a warm welcome back for director Adam Wong, who previously made the highly underrated and effective “MAGIC BOY”. It is wonderful to see a true local Hong Kong production succeeds and like the years that it took to finally get the film on screen, the film works because it stays true to its source, it aims to inspire and it succeeds with some flashy fireworks. This is a good film with a bunch of newcomers having fun and taking the audience along the ride by engulfing and engaging them in the process. If last year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival gave us “VUGARIA”, this year’s surprise comes in the form of “THE WAY WE DANCE”. Stay tune for the mainstream release in July 2013. (Neo 2013, Reviewed as part of 37th Hong Kong International Film Festival 2013)

I rated it 8/10

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