If there is a huge problem with As Tears Go By, it would be that the movie really doesn’t make any kind of impact on me. I feel indifferent towards it, and as you might can guess, that isn’t a good thing to feel towards a film you are to review. The story is average at best, but there are a few peppers here and there. Like the fact that the leading lady happens to be Andy Lau’s cousin. The only thing is they don’t follow up on this. She might as well have been a friend of the family because neither Lau’s or Cheung’s character seems to have any moral dilemma about being emotionally involved with a family member. So the film kind of just falters when approaching any kind of serious drama. The only thing remotely interesting is Andy Lau and Jackie Cheung’s relationship.
If you’ve seen Mean Streets you kind of already know what’s up with the Andy Lau/Jackie Cheung relationship is. Jackie is rebellious, hard headed and overall foolish, while Lau has to keep bailing him out of trouble. While this has been done before, I really liked Cheung in this role. Cheung gets to overact like crazy, but is always funny to watch. He’s usually jumping up and down about one thing or another.
I suppose the biggest star of the film though is probably the cinematography. This was before Wai hooked up Christopher Doyle, but Wai Keung Lau shows here he’s no slouch. I particularly liked the scenes near the beginning in Lau’s apartment. The blue’s kind of added a whole mood to the film, but didn’t say quite anything. On another technical note, the soundtrack like Chungking Express, features English speaking songs covered in Cantonese. This time around it’s ‘Take My Breath Away’, which proves to be ten times more annoying than the overplayed “California Dreaming” in Chungking Express.