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Lost and Found

Takeshi Kaneshiro and Kelly Chan in Lost and Found
Chinese: 天涯海角  
Year: 1996  
Director: Lee Chi-Ngai  
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Kelly Chan Wai-Lam, Michael Wong Mun-Tak, Cheung Tat-Ming, Hilary Tsui Ho-Ying, Josie Ho Chiu-Yee, Henry Fong Ping, Moses Chan Ho, Jordan Chan Siu-Chun, Maria Cordero
The Skinny: Despite some weighty exposition, this wonderful drama is creative and incredibly affecting. Takeshi Kaneshiro shines as the quirky Mr. Lost and Found.
by Kozo:

Kelly Chan treads on C’est La Vie, Mon Cheri territory in this absorbing drama from Lee Chi-Ngai. She’s Lam, a rich girl afflicted with leukemia who is searching for hope in her tired existence. Lam seeks salvation in the form of handsome sailor Ted (Mr. SDU, Michael Wong). Ted’s from Scotland and his tales of the “Edge of the World” fascinate the morbid (and doomed) Lam. Unfortunately, Ted disappears and she tries to find him before he leaves Hong Kong or she kicks off. Her search for Ted leads her to an unlikely friend, That Worm or Mr. Lost and Found (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Mr. Lost and Found specializes in finding the misplaced, and what begins as a search for one man ultimately turns into a search for Lam's identity. Hope appears in places that she didn't expect, and her journey of discovery becomes the path followed by the audience as well.

Less cheesy than it sounds, Lost and Found is a wonderful film that explores our relationship to death and the magical power of hope, and manages to do it with touching emotion and eloquence. Sure the terminal disease thing is overdone, but there’s a certain freshness to Lee Chi-Ngai's screenplay. Much of what is said concerning mortality and resignation to fate is done through events around Lam and not her specific tear-jerking story. The main tool for this is Mr. Lost and Found, a truly engaging character who’s played effectively by Takeshi Kaneshiro. Kaneshiro's talent for playing sympathetic, righteous characters has never been more evident. If there's a weak link to the film, it's Kelly Chan. She's a remarkably beautiful young woman, but she hasn't shown herself to be much of an actress just yet. Her natural blankness helps the terminal illness part of her character, but the self-hating part of her nature never rings true. 

Another problem is Lam's rampant voice-over. Perhaps the film’s largest fault, it reduces much of the film's magic to a series of expository passages. Show is always better than tell, but thankfully what's told is well worth watching. The script and story are creative and affecting, and Lee Chi-Ngai’s direction is sharp without being overwrought. Aiding matters is the music, which mixes Canto-pop with music by Mark Lui and Leonard Cohen. Also, the cinematography is austere and pleasing, especially during Lam’s final journey to the “Edge of the World.” The themes of life and death, love and hope come full circle and she finds that perhaps what she lost is not as precious as what she found. Lee Chi-Ngai delivers both a worthy theme and a terrific movie. (Kozo 1996)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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image courtesy of the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen