|Ah Wah and Ngor.|
Considered as a energetic reworking of Martin Scorsese’s 1975 classic Mean Streets Wong Kar-wai's directorial feature debut As Tears Go By (1988) revolves around a small time gangster, Ah Wah, who spends most of his time trying to keep his ‘brother’ Fly (Jacky Cheung) out of trouble to the detriment of his on/off love affair with his cousin Ngor who has recently arrived to stay in his flat to be close to the hospital where she is receiving treatment for an illness. For Wong it’s a relatively conventional Asian gangster film made before he linked up with cinematographer Christopher Doyle and before he developed many of his trademarks that were to become pronounced in his breakthrough film Chungking Express (1994).
|Rival gangster meet to sort out there differences.|
The film stars Andy Lau, best known for his roles in films like Fulltime Killer (2001), the Infernal Affair’s trilogy (2002-2003) House of the Flying Daggers (2004) and the recently released A Simple Life (2011), as Ah Wah with Ngor played by Maggie Cheung who was born in Hong Kong but raised in England and has appeared in four other Wong Kar-wai movies Ashes of Time Redux (2008), 2046 (2004, In the Mood for Love (2000) and Days of Being Wild (1990). She has also appeared in two of her ex-husband’s Olivier Assayas films Irma Vep (1996) and Clean (2004).
Focusing on vengeance and violence this tough gritty movie has a different feel to his later films but is none the worse for it, in fact it’s a great deal better that a lot of other Asian gangster movies and certainly would appeal to lovers of that genre along with Wong’s many fans.