The Promise

I haven’t blogged in yonks and here I am posting an entry after watching a Mix FM sponsored premiere of “The Promise” starring Cecilia Cheung and some Korean dude. I can’t remember his name at all cos’ He wasn’t that good looking to begin with. The other notable in the movie was Nicholas Tse who played the bad guy.

I didn’t have any expectations at all for the movie and went into the cinema not knowing what was in store for me. In short I must say I was pretty amused by the movie in general. To its credit the cinematography was alright with some really nice angles & framing. Plus some of the scenery was breathtaking but that’s all the praise the movie is going to get from me.

The plot was simplistic and it meandered on for most of the movie. It felt like one huge uncontrollable fairy tale complete with ridiculous scenes of people flying in the sky. Some of these scenes were supposed to be romantic but I think a lot of us in the cinema ended up laughing instead of being touched. Sigh … you know a movie is in trouble when you see a guy pulling his lady love through the sky like a kite. There were moments when it could have been really romantic but somehow everything just falls flat because of the direction the story was being steered into. There were moments of campiness in the movie too; especially Nicholas Tse’s weird stick weapon that had a gold hand with its index finger pointing out. The movie is just filled with moments that confuse you; should I be laughing now or should I be crying?

The casting was pretty weak too. The Korean guy wasn’t a very strong lead actor and I must say that Nicholas Tse overshadowed him on all counts. I mean if you don’t have acting chops at the very least be good-looking-lah … aiyo! Cecilia Cheung felt miscast too! I mean she’s always this sweet character in all her previous roles but in this one she’s supposed to be a seductress whom men would die or kill for. I didn’t get that at all and honestly I don’t see why everyone in the movie wanted her so much. Silly men!

The writers tried to deal with a wide variety of themes but I think in trying to deal with so many themes everything just diluted along the way. Personally as a amateur writer I’ve found from experience that having too many themes just confuses the audience and the end-product just becomes weak. Here are some of the themes that I think they were trying to deal with:

  • Love (sacrificial, unrequited, scorned, etc)
  • Loyalty & Honour
  • Fate & Destiny

I suppose the main theme of the movie was about fate and how one can’t really change it but it just doesn’t come out strong because of way the scenes were being treated. At the start of the movie there’s this scene where the Korean dude races through a herd of stampeding bulls and I tried suspending my belief but I couldn’t. The movie is filled with cartoonish instances like that and I guess the movie suffered from the treatment it was getting from the director.

Sigh … at the end of the day I don’t hate the movie. The whole group of us who went had a nice laugh outside the cinema and I’d say we were amused at the very least. If you’re a Nicholas Tse fan skip this one cos’ there are embarassing instances in the movie that the director puts him through. Cecilia Cheung fans … um … she’s pretty-lor. That’s all I can say. If you’re expecting another Hero or Seven Swords then please, please give this one a miss. Go watch “Perhaps Love” starring Takeshi Kaneshiro & Jacky Cheung. Now that’s a good watch! Or better yet just catch “King Kong” – it most definitely wins my vote for movie of the year!


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