Shanghai Grand 新上海灘 (1996) – Hong Kong

[] Shanghai Grand (1996) – Hong Kong

As much as I would like to fully embrace the 1996 film version of TVB – The Bund starring Chow Yun Fat, it falls short due to its lack of running time, style of substance and heavily over hammed reliance on the charisma of Leslie Cheung. Andy Lau who plays Ding Lik fails to show character and depth beyond his obvious coolness and good looks. It is unfortunately as Leslie Cheung seems to be acting in a totally different film and in the scene where he flirts and romance with Ning Jing, it feels like a cut out of a Wong Kar Wai movie. Still, the images and mood of the film is terrifically focused in the 1930s Shanghai and the chapter and character focus makes it a good expression of film noir technique. Whilst the film is beautiful to look at and even oozes with some terrific gun play and set pieces. The film ultimately leaves the audience wanting more and probably ended up a rewatching of the making of Chow Yun Fat in the 1980 original series. Interestingly the film added in an out of place SM inspired sequence and also starring an extremely young Korean Jung Woo Sung.


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