House of the Rising Sons 兄弟班 (2018) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Director and “Wynners” band man Anthony Chan created a film that equal on nostalgia and emotively charged on a personal level. It retell the true story of how the popular band group “Wynners” came about and the struggles and difficulties that came with fame and most importantly the brotherhood of the pack. With superstars Alan Tam and Kenny Bee as the band members, it probably goes without saying that these two will forever overshadow the rest of the band members, both in looks, talent and fame. The key thing and message that make this film so effective both emotionally and affectingly is due to the realism of the situations, the hardships and how these “brothers” form a bond and kept at it.
Chan remain wise in his casting of younger versions of the band members, including himself. Ng Hok-him plays Chan with a steady shyness and restrain that makes a convincing display. Likewise Taiwanese pop star Eugene Tang and Chinese musician Tan Yu Tian (playing Alan Tam and Kenny Bee respectively) both with good looks and coolness that detach form the rest, though Hong Kong actor Carlos Chan playing guitarist Bennett Pang stands out. Simon Yam in his usual 70s Hong Kong conservative father mode and Kara Hui as the supportive mother and landlady is surprisingly memorable.
All in all, “House of the Rising Sons” works on many levels, namely dwells on the “Wynners” fans own sentimentalism, Chan’s realist and highly detailed directions of the 1970s Hong Kong will likely attract another core base as for the neutral, this is simply a good film about human relationships and often forgotten “brotherhood”. Perhaps the best scene remains the end when the real life “Wynners” concert showing all we have just seen and feel is real and genuine.
I rated it 8/10