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With: Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, William Chang, Kau Lam, Alex Man, Ronald Wong
Written by: Wong Kar-wai, Jeffrey Lau
Directed by: Wong Kar-wai
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Cantonese, with English subtitles
Running Time: 102
Date: 09/06/1988

As Tears Go By (1988)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Triad Lieutenant

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy As Tears Go By on DVD

Wong Kar-wai's feature debut As Tears Go By features the gorgeous Maggie Cheung in her first serious role. It finally convinced a generation of Hong Kong movie fans that she could really act, and not just play Jackie Chan's airhead girlfriend (Project A II, Supercop: Police Story III). Coming in the middle of the HK New Wave, and telling yet another Triad gangster story, it doesn't distinguish itself as a great debut. Yet it's an excellent film, fluid in its use of color, slow motion and other flashy techniques, combined with street realism. Andy Lau plays a tough guy who is saddled with a loose-cannon "younger brother" who continually gets himself into trouble. Lau becomes torn between his loyalty toward his friend and his love for his naïve country cousin (Cheung).

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