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38HKFA Coverage: Tracey 翠絲 (2019) - Hong Kong

Andrew Chan Kara Wai Philip Keung Tracey

38HKFA Coverage: Tracey 翠絲 (2019) - Hong Kong

Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)

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Commercial Hong Kong cinema rarely goes the daring route in portraying a story of a transsexual played by the evergreen and Best Actor nominee Philip Keung. Scripted and produced by veteran film critic Shu Qi, the film attempts to deal with a wide spectrum of controversial and day to day topics, including family dynamics, sexual orientation and acceptance of oneself and society. New director Jun Li does extremely well in capturing the small happiness and interesting delights of being oneself and rhythm well with the current #metoomovement. 

Philip Keung outdoes himself and produces his career defining role as he transforms completely and totally into a female. By the end of the film, Keung convinces as another person and the eyes tell a deeper story of pain and long term suffering. Winner of Best Supporting Actress Kara Wai simply chew scenery and excels in key confrontational scenes with both Keung’s realisation and her son (played by Ng Siu-Hin) bonding sequences. Ben Yuen (winner of Best Supporting Actor) is almost unrecognisable as the ageing transsexual produces a powerhouse performance that is likely to stay with you.

All in all, “Tracey” does covers a lot of grounds and probably suffers as a consequences to be completely emotionally affecting. The performances are pitch perfect and almost outstanding to watch, but hampered by a script that tries a bit too hard to succeed. At the end, we understand the journey that Tracey have taken, but falls short of the infernal of feelings that this kind of film can do daily engulf and inspire. 

I rated it 7.5/10

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