Happy Din Don
This very amusing comedy from Michael Hui is basically
a HK remake of the American film “Some Like it Hot” in which Hui combines
and plays both the Jack Lemon/Tony Curtis role, Cherie Chung is the Marilyn
Monroe character and Bill Tung does the Joe E. Brown role. “Some Like it
Hot” is of course one of the great Hollywood classics and though this film
doesn’t nearly match its sublime comedy – it is still a considerable treat.
This comedy is more routine driven than character
driven as it was in “Some Like it Hot”, but some of the skits that Hui
creates are very clever. He can make something as simple as suppressing
one’s laughter into a five minute sketch or a routine as old as pretending
to be blind and the bad guys trying to expose the validity of this into
something fresh. My favorite piece had to be an extended fight between
Hui and one of the bad guys – while a similar fight is taking place on
TV. So Hui keeps watching the TV to get tips and even fast forwards the
tape at one point so he can figure out how to quickly get out of the hold
he is in – and then both stop fighting during a commercial break! This
was possibly the inspiration for a similar set up in Jackie Chan’s City
The cinematography and sets are surprisingly sumptuous
for a light comedy like this. In particular, when the story moves to Thailand
it becomes a visual treat. Also in the category of “visual treat” would
be Cherie Chung. She has never appeared lovelier than in this film – all
creamy, desirable and delicious looking.
Michael Hui’s character Don is a down and out
musician who witnesses a gangland slaying. After the bad guys break through
his blind man impression (“do you have the time”), Hui is on the run with
them in close pursuit. The two main gangsters are classic bad guy characters
– one with a steel hand that can be turned into a deadly variety of utensils
and the other with his cloudy eye and scary appearance – and add a lot
to the film.
To escape the country, Hui - with the help
of his friend and roommate – joins a female band on their way to Thailand.
He of course has to go in drag and his impersonation of a female is not
at all bad – it would fool me I think! It certainly fools Bill Tung – a
wealthy crocodile farmer – and Tung falls passionately in love with Don.
Cherie is Din, the singer in the band, and she
has had enough of two bit musicians and is hoping to find a rich man –
a King of Coconuts – to take care of her. Once in Thailand, Hui switches
back and forth between his identity as a woman and his new one as a fabulously
rich playboy to great comic effect. The bad guys figure out Hui’s disguise
and follow him to Thailand where everyone ends up in a pond with a bunch
of very hungry crocodiles.
The film finishes by taking the final dialogue
from “Some Like it Hot” as Hui sadly breaks the news to Bill that he is
a she – and Tung gives the classic Joe E. Brown response “Well nobodys
The film also contains cameos from Anita Mui (an
amusing singing one), Ricky Hui (as the man caught in bed with Hui’s girlfriend)
and Walter Cho as the police captain.
My rating for this film: 7.0
Distributed by Universe
The transfer is simply wonderful - very clear
and the sumptuous colors are very evident.
Chapters - 8
Previews - Chocolate Inspector, Legend of Wisely,
A Family Affair
Easy to read subs
Subs in Chinese, English, Bahasa Malay.