Over My Dead Body 死屍死時四十四 (2023) - Hong Kong 🇭🇰
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺)
Director Ho Cheuk-tin continues his wonderful form with an excellent black comedy follow-up from award winning court case crime thriller debut “The Sparring Partner”. What is so fascinating, about Ho’s latest film is the essence of black comedy and parody about everything everywhere that is what happening in Hong Kong, both subtly and literally in the face. That’s to be commendable as the laughters keep rolling in and whilst knowledge of local culture and Cantonese are vital to understanding many of the themes and witty dialogue on display.
The attention to detail of the livelihood of the four neighbourhood families cannot more different. Each have their own secrets and all exposed when it comes down to a “male copse” (in Cantonese, it may sound like another meaning), appearing on their doorsteps. Everyone is living in fear of their expensive shoebox apartment of devaluing due to “haunted flat” premises. The ensemble cast (comprising of Teresa Mo, Ronald Cheng, Jennifer Yu, Wong You-nam, Edan Lui (reprising his rebel and father issues role from Hong Kong Family”), Yeung Wai Lun, and Jer Lau is always fun to watch as their cooperation provided plenty of laughters. Special note to the elderly couple (played by Lau Kong and Bonnie Wong) provides the film with more touching moments and their home is populated with Colonial era historical items fits in well with their English induced dialogue about afterlife and teeth brushing. In fact Hanna Chan steals the show in her ever effortless role as the free spirited bride who became the central to the finale.
All in all, “Over My Dead Body” is beautifully scripted by Kong Ho-yan and Amy Chin (also Producer) goes by blissfully as the laughs often overshadowed the plot holes. It is a well made black comedy that is extremely relevant on Hong Kong social norms and issues are peacefully presented. Director Ho Cheuk-tin is easily one of the most exciting new local directors and that’s worthy of true rejoice. Enjoy while it last as they say. Stay tune for shouting out loud finale for those who stayed the distance.
I rated it 8/10