A close cousin of mine recently told me she pick up smoking. Plus she said it so casually as if she pick up singing.
WTH. In my head I was thinking O.o! But tried to look calm. If I didn't remember wrongly my exact reply was "cool!" and she gave me this weird look and I said: " I am all along fine with people smoking."
Hey I am being honest. Just that I felt a slight twinge in my heart which is probably because she IS MY COUSIN.
Smoking has always been portrayed as something cool. It's in the media. Films, fashion, photography etc. Deep down inside all of us, we are a little sadistic. Okay maybe not all of us but most of us. Of course we all try to repress it-the rational mind says so. Society deems such human nature as evil. Yet it still lives inside us (duh! serial killers?) and smoking somehow brings out that part.
Most people of our generation know smoking is bad and yet we still do it. The initial attraction mixed with curiosity and the ultimate addiction and pleasure. Sounds tempting isn't it?
HAHAHAHA still. I don't like lung cancer. See who is laughing last.
OH! I think that's why I like triads films anyway! I can't smoke but I can see people smoking right??? Its the least I can do! And without sniffing it second hand too!
Which brings me to my next topic and review of MONGA.
(I purposely choose the movie poster with Ethan Ruan as the cover hehehehe he is so friggin cute!! :D )
AHEM! As I mentioned previously...its hard for me not to be biased against/towards male leads in any movie! The last time was rare! Totally fell in love with him when watching 敗犬女王 which I will say later on.. Now for MONGA!
To review it superficially, which means using the stars system to rate a movie, ( I dislike this manner, totally undermines the value but I must admit it is for simplicity sake for people who hates reading.) I give it 2.5 stars out of 5!
First of all, this is done by a relatively unknown director. I never heard of him other than some kind of relation to the film 海角七號. And since my knowledge of directors is considered almost on par with my 40+ mother, ( shows you how much free time I have to familiarise myself with film directors background) this guy-Doze Niu after googling... still appears mysterious.
Anyway I know nuts about his methods of directing but at least because it is typical so nothing worthy to mention of.
Now here comes the plot ah it is acceptable...(under the pretense of a gangster film)... emphasizes on brotherhood, betrayal VS loyalty and at times indulging in artistic shots in the movie (which in my own opinion) serves no purpose at all. Decent acting from all the guys (well at least I know Ethan Ruan was flawless) in the movie.... was quite disturbed by their hairstyle and dressing though.. HOW BENG CAN IT GET?!?!?
Note the guy wearing black...super cannot stand his hairstyle...seemed to be randomly chopped off by inexperienced hairdresser... Not quite sure what was the intended effect for him to pose so to me was a complete failure :D:D
(Of course Ethan Ruan being so cute looks good bald anyway! )
Another plus point of the show is capturing the setting in Taiwan. The local flavour is conveyed quite well...along with recent mushrooming of other Taiwan movies... all which I appreciate trying to bring out their own "feel" rather than trying to shape it like Hong Kong/China - their neighbouring countries film industry. This part is quite well-done :D you hear their Hokkien dialect mixed in the conversation, the street scenes of Taiwan framing the movie...not bad :)
I read somewhere in the newspaper too that the gangsters extras in this film are really 小混混 in reality! FWAH! The director has connections! He said since it was budget he managed to engage the help of these people cutting cost :) Wow. So its pretty real I assume?
Now for the parts which I dislike....actually, I think its just my own perception but still! My blog must have my own perceptions mah!
Real as it maybe, I prefer the glamorized + bloody + gory kind of fighting. Seriously! All the fight scenes in this show made me LOL in front of the screen. It was like seeing children in the playground fight. Poor choreography ( I am used seeing the HK kind ) , totally NOT COOL AT ALL! (of course only when Ethan Ruan fight then its cool :)) But anyway! its just really bad.... I don't care if in reality people fight so poorly....its a gangster film for godsake! Its suppose to be visually appealing and slick....the battleS featured in it just felt so laughable. Consisting of lunging from man to man, lousy sucker punches and falling over... OMG... If you read my love for Vengeance- a John Woo directed gangster film... it displays so much more.
Okay you can argue this is Taiwan film! Contradicting myself here.. they were just simply bringing in their own kind of gangsterism but but but I thought that there is an international consensus that all gangster films are meant to be cool! ( of course unless its a parody....) even the French, Italian, Korean, mafia look suave in their blackness and guns!! WTH is Taiwan "gangster" film featuring fighting so childishly?!?! To make the characters more human? You don't tone down the violence! ROAR! And its not exactly violence lorh its heoric bloodshed!! If crafted nicely + polished and refined it adds to character development! Unlike this...which is...i dont even know how to describe it..erm absolute chaos and crude.
Nevertheless the real reason why I find it not completely satisfying is because of the blandness of the plot. Its okay but not great. The idea is there but only just there. I can see better ones in old HK gangster films so there you go. Predictability level here is HIGH!
BUT WATCH IT! Idol power is strong! It is after chasing this idol drama which is why I even take note of Monga hehehe.
For this I give it 3.5 stars!! Instead of the normal kind of stupid story.. whereby poor/abused/desperate Girl A meets super eligible bachelor who is often rich powerful handsome desirable++ and followed by a list of complication.... YET this one is DIFFERENT! Okay abit lah.. there is still love triangleS and happiliy ever after...
Both main characters qualities are quite realistic. Unmarried workaholic and hedonistic young man. Quite believable right? Compared to characters like : F4 and a super long list of idealistic macho guys in idol dramas..
HAHA but an idol drama is still an idol drama. TELL ME HOW CAN PEOPLE WITH 8 YEARS APART BE TOGETHER? ESPECIALLY WHEN THE OLDER ONE IS THE GIRL! Faint hehehe this part here is super =.= 是不可能的事！
But the presence of the 盧卡斯character makes it all so :))) Ethan Ruan acting here is FANTASTIC! *Piak !* must be unbiased... okay to say honestly a great improvement especially from 命中注定我愛你. Yes I admit that 命中注定我愛你 is popular one thus giving us the impression of him but this 敗犬女王 totally make me see that he is quite an actor! Not just an idol! (of course monga just adds on to my point) Extreme qualities portrayed here by his 2 characters and he made them both so well-liked!
In 命中注定我愛你, Ethan Ruan plays 紀存希who falls into the typical male lead in idol dramas... He is egoistical and childish but rich and dashing at the same time ready to sweep the girl off her feet...
Compare to 盧卡斯 fwah! the difference is significant... he is somewhat a more grown up young boy... Caring, hardworking and acts super mature... rather I find the girl O.O for a 33 year old bacherlotte childish. Plus her nose look fake. Where got people nose so sharp one!?
HEHE okay enough rubbish! Shall end my rather long post now!