Impeccably crafted sports film in which having any knowledge of Majong is largely inconsequential to the film's overall effectiveness. To's directional touch is incredibly assured here, his precise use of movement enhances the dynamism of the game while the camera's gaze often fixates on hand movements and other gestures intrinsic to Mahjong, making the whole experience compelling but also discernible even for those unfamiliar with the rules. The film's plot is imbued with an amorphous quality due to its peculiar characters and general free-flowing rhytyms - embracing its underlying theme through the construction of a narrative that never feels pre-determined or even devised. The text of a sports film used to illuminate the nature of living - no matter how far we've risen or fallen among the social hierarchy we are constantly in a state of flux, fundamentally lacking control of our lives due to the broad swath of externalities that consistently influence our place in this world. Fat Choi Spirit uses gambling and the nature of chance intrinsic to any sport to elucidate this theme. To be clear, there isn't any sense of nihilism here, quite the opposite, as the filmmakers openly express this lack of control from a positive perspective, one in which our lives are never set, no matter how bad things can be, no matter how far we fall, things can get better and we must remember that and continue to play this game we call life.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.