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Sealed with a Kiss
Chinese: 甜言蜜語
Yoyo Mung and Louis Koo
Year: 1999
Director: Derek Chiu Sung-Kei
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung
Cast: Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai, Raymond Wong Ho-Yin, Sue Au Suk-Ching, Chan Kwok-Kwan
The Skinny: Underrated romantic drama from Milky Way films, which means it's uncommon and cinematically pleasing. Louis Koo and Yoyo Mung make an attractive pair.
by Kozo:

Those guys at Milky Way eschew crime and give us a straight romantic drama - Milky Way style. Like their celebrated crime films, Sealed with a Kiss is stylish and engrossing, and not for the common filmgoer. 

This character-driven drama stars Louis Koo as Kam Sui, a mute resident of one of HKís rural islands. Though he canít speak, he makes do by working in his auntís store and occasionally meting out justice when the neighboring triads visit. The rest of his days are spent lounging around with buddy Angel (Sue Au Suk-Ching), a skinhead tomboy, and sometimes sparring with his punching bag. 

Things change when Mandy (Milky Way regular Yoyo Mung) comes to town. She arrives nursing a broken heart, and proceeds to worm her way into Kam Suiís without really trying. Despite her heartbreak, Mandy is an independent and spirited woman. A romance counselor by profession, she immediately becomes Kam Suiís object of affection during the course of her stay. However, she falls for Paul (Raymond Wong), a local fireman. Crushed, Kam Sui nonetheless urges Paul to pursue Mandy. When Paul is tongue-tied, Kam does all the work, including writing the love letters. 

Yes, this sounds like Cyrano de Bergerac, but a simple plot synopsis does not do this film justice. This is a movie of detail and character, where we learn more by what isnít said rather than what is. Told in a spare, almost opaque style, this subtly rewarding film manages to surprise in the smallest, but most compelling ways. 

Louis Koo is excellent as Kam, and Yoyo Mung shows that perhaps she could amount to more than a ďflower vase.Ē Derek Chiu manages to hold back his typically heavy-handed directorial style for something more subtle. This is not a film for everyone, as there are no easy solutions and a decided lack of tear-jerking pathos. However, there are recognizable emotions at work here, and an affecting examination of romantic longing. Probably 1999ís most underrated film. (Kozo 1999)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen