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Review My Heart is that Eternal Rose a.k.a. Sha shou hu die meng (1989): There is something odd going on with this flick........

genre: romance, crime, heroic bloodshed

As I have mentioned in the title of this post something odd is going on with this flick. In my search for everything heroic bloodshed My Heart is that Eternal Rose has popped up several times. And when you read the reviews most of them are positive. I only could find one negative review on HKMDB but that was more because the reviewer could not remember the film and was unable to track down the title to do a proper review. I don't know about you but whenever this happens my Spidey sense goes into overdrive. Even the most perfect masterpieces get negative reviews. So if those are non existent then I question the honesty of the reviewers.

Especially after having seen this film I am astonished that it gets so much praise in the first place. There is nothing extraordinary about it. In fact I think it is pretty average bordering to incredibly bad. Maybe a case could be made in favour of the camera work with the use of it's colours. But that really is about it. The supposedly brilliance of director Patrick Tam (He is known as the mentor of Wong Kar-wai.) is nowhere to be found. In fact if you ask me this film was stylish in all the wrong places. There are a lot of scenes where slow motion was used when there was no use or point to it. It only delayed the already super slow action. At one point it's used for like thirty seconds in a scene where all you see is a black wall and a little smoke. (Ok exaggeration on my part. It was more like ten seconds. But that is similar to two hours in cat years.) In another scene slow motion is used where character played by Tony Leung gets pushed out of the car. It takes forever with very little positive effect. I mean what was the point of that? Then there were some freeze frames undoubtedly for dramatic effect but here it came off as comedic. I could have overlooked the shortage of action and the misplaced stylization. But not the overly melodramatic empty triangle love story. It was tragic just for the sake of being tragic devoid of any logic or reason. It did help to have Toney Leung Chiu-Wai and Joey Wong to portray the characters. They did bring this film a little credibility. Still they were not given that much material to work with and you can tell that for the most part they felt lost. Which I assume a lot of people are confusing with artistic and symbolic depth. 

This scene lasts 10 seconds. Why? 

Apart from the title there is nothing artistic or poetic about this film. It simply is a very poorly made movie that drags on throughout. The few action scenes that are present are far too short and not very enjoyable and therefore ultimately pointless. This film would have been more effective had it just been filming the roses (that are shown in the beginning) for 90 minutes.  

Seriously this film is a waste of your time. Especially if you are looking for a decent heroic bloodshed title. This is just an overly melodramatic but incredibly minimalistic love story with no redeeming factors whatsoever. AVOID!


Dunandan said...

It's not an action movie.

chrichtonsworld.com said...

Since it's being classified as a Heroic Bloodshed title, one can assume that action plays a pivotal role. But I did mention that I could have overlooked the lack of action if the film had something substantial to offer. And it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

This film is a great precursor to the art-house Hong Kong films of the 90s. It's pulp Hong Kong cinema at it's best. It's not trying to compete with John Woo's hardboiled flicks like "A Better Tomorrow." It's just trying to be a pulpy vibe of a crime film.

You cannot imagine the anxious fervor of 1988, when the trailer showed up on HK television. Opening night at metro theatres were packed with people. And directors rushed to imitate the visual feel of this movie (much thanks to cinematographer Christopher Doyle) for years afterwards. Sales of the cassette single theme song (bootleg and otherwise) were ubiquitous in Chinatowns across the globe. This movie was responsible for helping to establish a "FEEL" of Hong Kong nightlife that dominated the 90s and early 2000s in cinema all over the world.

The main review is written by someone who (at best) has contributed nothing of value to this society. And to validate their existence, they started a review blog where they put down incredible movies that they aren't mentally/emotionally capable of connecting with.

Hey, do whatever helps you compensate for the inches you're missing, right?

chrichtonsworld.com said...

So I guess the one compensating for the inches is me, right? Well, my girlfriend is very content with those inches. So I gather you loved this piece of crap. Well, good for you. But just because you love a film doesn't mean I can't state for what it is and not what it did to you emotionally. Also, just because you claim that this film was pivotal doesn't make it so. A good film, even pulp, needs to be able to convey this to people who aren't familiar with life in Hong Kong. You got me there, though, I know nothing of the real life in Hong Kong. I have never been. But I have been watching Hong Kong films since I was 3. And I am pretty capable of knowing what is good and what's not. But, I don't really need to know real life of Hong Kong, since unlike you, I judge the films on their own merit. If there was something good or worthwhile, I would say so. If you actually read any of my reviews, you would know that I am a cinephile. I want all films to be good and do good. I take no pleasure in putting films down, as you mention. Still, that doesn't negate the fact that I can be critical.

You seem to take my review very personally. I assume you are an adult, yet not very mature one. I write these reviews for fun and to help out people into deciding whether a film is for them or not. But even if no one would read them, it's nice to keep track of the films I have watched. I watch faster than I write. But I do my best. And in case you didn't understand, this is a passion of mine. One of many passions. My passions aren't meant to validate my existence. I obviously exist, otherwise you wouldn't be responding now, would you? I do enough and have done enough to be proud of. As much as I love films. I don't need them to emote to. I do love to, but I can emote to real things and real people. You should try it. Maybe one day you can be as versatile and worthwhile like me.




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