FOCUS: First Cuts is a series of films showcasing some of the works from up and coming Asian directors. Supported by Andy Lau's Focus Films, we'll be seeing a slew of 6 movies, the second being the Hong Kong movie I'll Call You, starring Alex Fong Lik Sun and Viann Liang, directed by Lam Tze Chung.
I'll Call You is a modern day romance story, taking a look into what a girl wants, what a guy wants, expectations and the games people play. Manny is your average guy who has been luckless in love. Karen is your attractive television anchor, the quintessential party girl who doesn't know what she wants in a partner. They meet by chance at a pub, and Manny falls for her, hard, after a series of dates. However, Karen only thinks of him as a friend (don't they always?) and soon enough, the couple breaks up.
This movie does share some insights into the psyches of males and females in relationships, and the usual tips and tricks used to woo. It's takes on a very quirky feel especially in the first half of the movie, with interesting concept visuals such as likening the chase to a computer game, and have scenes which seemed to have leapt out of Ally McBeal's imaginary situations.
The middle act sees us witness Manny withdraw into his own world to wallow in self-pity and sadness. Here lies a guy who has given and sacrificed a lot (of course, in an exaggerated manner) to woo the girl of his dreams, only to be told off that the feeling is not mutual. Represented by being held in a lockup of emotions, with the cameo appearance of Andy Lau (he lent his voice to the first movie, and now this. Wonder if the subsequent movies will have his involvement of sorts) as a muscular crooner, and the prison warden.
As time heals all wounds, so did Manny in crawling out of the gut, and getting back to his usual support group of buddy colleagues, football games, and drinking sessions. But he initiated contact with Karen, and the two hit it off again strictly as platonic friends, and we learn more of both their lives during the time that they were apart. You'll have this suspicion that they might get back together, or you might want them to do so. But do you also subscribe to the view that a couple, once gone apart, can never get back together again?
The ending's very bittersweet, and thus the outcome kept as realistic as possible given the scenario played out. But storyline aside, what made this movie enjoyable, were the performaces of the leads, and somehow, Andy Lau's cameos, which were funny and slightly thought-provoking.
Makes you wonder, do you sometimes make the wrong decisions in relationships, let the right one get away, and have to live the rest of your life to regret it?