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The Umbrella Story
Year: 1995
Director: Clifton Ko Chi-Sum
Writer: Raymond To Kwok-Wai
Cast: Alice Lau Ar-Lai, Law Koon-Lan, Louisa So Yuk-Wah, Fung Wai-Hung, Tse Kwan-Ho, Poon Chan-Leung
The Skinny: Iffy CGI effects aside, this is an enjoyable, engaging trip through history.
by Kozo:
     Clifton Ko and Raymond To reunite the same cast from One of the Lucky Ones and I Have a Date with Spring for this family drama spanning nearly a century. Itís a fictionalized history of the Leung So Kee Umbrella Factory, which really existed until closing down in 1986 after nearly 100 years of  business. 
     Basically a historical log of China with the factoryís drama in the foreground, this is a well-thought and sometimes touching drama with Raymond Toís signature touches. We get to see how the Leung So Kee factory grew in the midst of wars and revolutions, and how their loyalty to family always sees them through. The cast is uniformly good, from Alice Lau to Law Koon-Lan to Mad Phoenix Tse Kwan-Ho. A bit cursory and even fluffy, the film provides a decent history lesson and good entertainment. 
     The filmís big selling point during its release was the use of Forrest Gump effects to blend old stock footage with new footage of the modern stars. As a result, the actors trod on actual footage of sixties HK streets, as well as appearing in shots with Bruce Lee and Chiang Kai-Shek, to name a couple of the surprise cameos. Itís a nice gimmick, but the drama stands on its own without all the visual historical happenstance. Besides, ILM didnít do the effects and they end up looking cheap. The digital effects arenít necessary; theyíre just padding for an already enjoyable story. (
Kozo 1997)
 Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen