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Healing Hearts
Year: 2000 "How can I tell him that I don't like men?"
Michelle Reis and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai
Director: Gary Tang Tat-Hei
Producer: Wong Jing
Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Michelle Reis, Kenny Bee, Esther Kwan Wing-Ho, Stephen Fung Tak-Lun, Melvin Wong Kam-Sum, Kristy Yeung Kung-Yu, Wan Yeung-Ming, Emotion Cheung Kam-Ching, Valerie Chow Kar-Ling, Pinky Cheung Man-Chi, Jackie Lui Chung-Yin, Wong Yat-Fei
The Skinny: Passably involving medical drama/commercial for a StarEast TV serial. The actors look great, but the direction and story are nothing new. And there are simply too many hanging plot threads to make this an effective film experience.
by Kozo:
     Those mavens at StarEast have managed to corall a major amount of names to appear in this hit medical drama from Wong Jing and TV buddy Gary Tang. Still, the large cast is shoved aside to make room for a 2-hour love story between emotionally-scarred doctor Lawrence (Tony Leung) and recently-awakened coma patient Jackie (Michelle Reis).
     Plot: Jackie has been cared for by kindly doctor Kenny Bee, who pines after her while she’s comatose. When she awakens, she takes a shine to Lawrence instead and the rest is history. There’s a subplot involving ethical impropriety, as well as a lawyer pairing involving Jackie Lui and Valerie Chow. Wan Yeung-Ming and Cheung Kam-Ching wander around bearing a grudge against Lawrence, and new doctor Stephen Fung struggles with Noah Wyle syndrome.
     Still, all plotlines are dropped in favor of the recurring one: Jackie’s affect on Lawrence. In that, the film delivers as Michelle Reis is beyond beautiful, and Tony Leung is simply an amazing actor even when he’s given nothing to do. That’s practically the case here, as Gary Tang’s script and direction are flat and pedestrian. That he creates so many characters and brushes them aside is a narrative taboo, if not for the fact that StarEast has big plans for the film.
     Healing Hearts was always intended as a TV serial with a film precursor, meaning all the characters and plotlines introduced in the film will be addressed on television without benefit of English subtitles. This frustrates me ONLY if they plan on bringing Michelle Reis back, as I’d love to see the resolution to that story. The two actors bring a good chemistry to the screen, though it’s a shame that the film couldn’t have been a better showcase for them. (Kozo 2000)
Notes: • The Healing Hearts television serial subsequently played in Hong Kong on ATV, the competitor and retarded stepchild of TVB. I never saw it, but apparently StarEast was never able to secure Tony Leung Chiu-Wai for more than a few brief cameos. They ended up killing off his character via a car crash and a body double. That's television for you. (Kozo 2001)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Deltamac Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen