There is nothing quite like watching a performance from somebody you dismiss as just another pretty face. Yes that is right. It seems Cecilia is more of an actor than I ever gave her credit for previously. When I think of what I have seen her in it is really hard to get past the constant ham and overacting that seems so common in films from Hong Kong. Lost in Time is pretty much HER film and her dramatic abilities are more than sufficient to carry the 90 or so minutes.
Apart from Ms Cheung’s strong performance, Lost in Time itself is really quite an impressive romance and drama. It deals with love, loss and responsibility in such an adult way that it is impossible to be unmoved by it. There is none of the insipid pining and comedy of errors that just enrage me in so many romances nowadays. Instead we have some very real characters with very real pasts trying to deal with their present with what they have.
The rest of the cast turn in a very strong performance, notable’s being Lau Ching Wan as our romantic leading man. His move from sympathetic mentor to love interest is expected from the opening of the film when we see Louis Koo’s character is killed off but some of his motives as a character is another thing that endears me to the film. The rest of Siu Wai’s (Holly in the subtitles) family are good characters played well giving much more substance to Cecilia’s performance. I suppose if I were to come up with any complaints, it would have to be the odd scene with the child, Loc Loc where he is just a bit too precocious, cute and just plain annoying.
Kudos must be given to Derek Yee for getting such human performances out of his cast. After this I am of half mind to look up some of his previous films. With such a character driven film, he does not seem at all intrusive in his filming and the pacing of the film keeps it interesting and is most intriguing on Siu Wai’s chaotic first day of the job which is presented as signifcant but not overdone.
There is little to Lost in Time that makes it a chore to watch and is a drama of a quality that is so rare out of Hong Kong that when they do come along they are refreshing and a reminder that there is some real talent still in the territory.