Set during the summer of 1997, Ga Yin and his fellow soldiers who have served in the British army, have lost their jobs because of the impending handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China. Without no real skills, the men feel like they have wasted their time serving in the British army, considering the incoming regime change, leading them to find employment and work any way possible. With little success in his job search, Ga Yin joins his irresponsible brother in working for the Triad. Fruit Chan's The Longest Summer is a tale of disenchanted individuals who see themselves lost in a changing world. The film explores how quickly things can change, showing the dying of old traditions or culture and how this affects people who cannot easily adapt. While I did find the film interesting, I never felt nearly as connected emotionally to Ga Yin as I should have been, leading to an intellectually stimulating, yet ultimately somewhat unsatisfying film. Towards the end of the film, the emotional connection begins to form as we see Ga Yin struggle, but this needed to happen earlier on. For those not familiar with Fruit Chan's style, it may take some getting used too. It can be quite intrusive on the viewer with certain compositions or camera moments which just feel jarring. It also has an odd tone, being extremely serious yet very playful which worked sometimes, but I was not personally a fan of some of the music choices. Chan's style is very kinetic and features some gorgeous compositions and energetic cinematography, leaving me wishing I could have connected more emotionally to the character. I am a huge fan of Fruit Chan's Made in Hong Kong so I am still very interested to see more of this unique filmmakers work.
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