Suk Suk 叔．叔 (2019) - Hong Kong
Aka Twilight Kiss
Reviewed by Andrew CHAN (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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Director Ray Yeung is no stranger to controversial films and his third film comes in the form depicting two elderly gay lovers coming together in a highly conservative Hong Kong society. It is the kind of story that is not often told and if told, a young pairing of actors would be used, instead we get two family married men in their late 60s coming together in love as they walk thru the fragile social norms and values that engulf around their past and present lives. It’s an engaging affair as veteran Jackie Chan’s stuntman Tai Bo is given his first leading role and portray the character with steady stoicism that landed him a Hong Kong Films Award Best Actor and veteran Ben Yuen is equally outstanding as the granddad torn between values of the old, his son and the possible love within grasp. In fact what Yeung created is easily the “Happy Together” for the pensioners.
Tai Bo takes the leading and difficult role that is both mentally draining and his wrinkled years and matured stoicism made the character his own. Years of physical stunt work including landmarks stunts in “Police Story” and decades of Jackie Chan’s films under his belt, Tai Bo look every one of those 70 years that the character required and needed to convince the audience. It’s a stunning closet display that manages to take the audience along for the ride as well as convinces in his love relationship with fellow retiree played so beautifully once again by Ben Yuen. Yuen shined impressively in the recent “Tracey” and more than hold his own as Yuen leads Bo into deeper emotions and displays. It is not the physical interactions that speaks volume, but rather the eyes and the lingering ocean chat that makes the unlikely couple an engaging affair. Patra Au is your typical housewife and what makes the performance perfect is the interactions between Au and Bo, even as he engages a hidden life within. Ultimately Au may or may not know about Tai Bo’s duo life, but it embarks on exactly that generation of conservativeness.
All in all, “Suk Suk” remains one of the best local film of the year that shows human emotions and characters that are highly relatable. Both leads are played by veterans that may not often be in the leading commercial lights of Hong Kong, but both have contributed decades to the glory of Hong Kong cinema. Their performances elevates the already daring script and coupled with heartfelt direction from Ray Yeung, making “Suk Suk” a relevant love affair that takes the audience on a journey of prejudice, growth, maturity, society and acceptance. It is a strong Hong Kong film that ends on a powerful note.
I rated it 8/10