Mad World (2016) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan
Films about a people and unsung carers of mental health affected should be noted with bravery and an off hand compliment from the start. "Mad World" won most Hong Kong film awards and rightly deserved most of it. Largely realistically portrayed especially the mental health patients and the carers, debutant director Wong Chun managed to also fit in the social ills, cramped living places, high stressed work environment, selfishness of some religious people, the inapt public hospital system and how crazy the world of Hong Kong have become. These are all admirable and notable concerns being captured in one film, even if it may seem a bit too much.
Shawn Yue manages to come out in blazing and unglamorous top form as the bio polar carer of his own mother (played realistically well by Elaine Jin) who is suffering mental health issues. Perhaps the stress of work and caring from Kam led to Yue's eventual mental breakdown and these scene are depicted with fore-right reality and unforgiving condemning nature. These are powerful scenes and likewise, Eric Tsang gives one of his better dramatic recent performance as the carer and terrible husband and father whose abandonment of his family in the past led to most of the issues in the film. Tsang managed to be both grounded and understated as he struggles to care for Yue as much as he is dealing with his own internal turmoil.
All in all, "Mad World" succeeds in painting hopeless and unforgiving Hong Kong in face of mental health issues. In a city where one in two people suffer some sort of mental illness during their lives, this is a highly relevant matter that the government have largely neglected and the public glossy uneducated regarding it. Director Wong Chun have crafted a wonderfully shot and relatable film about a relevant concern and this is a powerful film for those that knows what's really happening.
I rated it 4.5/5
Coming soon on DVD and Blu Ray at: https://neofilmshop.com/collections/types?q=Hong%20Kong%20Movies