Healing Hearts


This theatrical release all too clearly shows its TV petticoats with its multi character and multi plot lines crisscrossing each other constantly but often going nowhere. Apparently, this film was made as a pilot for an upcoming TV show – though I can’t imagine the TV show is retaining this film’s stellar cast (though Kenny Bee, Valerie Chow and Kristie Yeung are in it). The central story imbedded here is quite good for the most part – but there are numerous other side characters that are not at all realized – and various sub-plots that make little sense and are never explained. No doubt, they were continued in the TV series.

The film is a hospital drama – with the usual set of devices that these types of shows have – the professional and private lives of the doctors and nurses, the sad or happy outcomes of patients, dealing with senior management – all under a steady barrage of emergencies, surgeries and life and death medical decisions. This part of the film is done reasonably well – it creates a good balance between the professional and personal aspects of the staff and the medical bits look somewhat realistic though quite low budget. The main story though is about the relationship between a doctor and a patient.

Tony Leung Chiu-wai is a surgeon who is still attempting to get over the death of his girlfriend from a hit and run driver. He has lost all interest in relationships – is obsessed with finding the driver that killed his girlfriend – and devoted to his work. Into his life comes a radiant Michelle Reis who looks absolutely stunning whether in a coma – bald – hooked up to wires or under normal circumstances. I only wish I could look one tenth as good normally as she does when going under the knife.
Michelle is in a coma – and is being looked after by a doctor played by Kenny Bee. Kenny has managed to convince himself that he is in love with her – and that if she ever comes out of her coma she will return his feelings. Instead one day, Tony is hiding in her room from senior management – goes over to talk to her – and she comes out of her coma. A miracle and she believes Tony is responsible for her awakening.
After being released and having nowhere to go, Tony offers to let her stay at his place for only a few days – but soon his life is being turned upside down by her presence. In a funny way it has mild echoes of Chungking Express when Faye secretly begins to clean up Tony’s apartment. Michelle begins doing the same – cleaning, reorganizing, buying good food – as Tony helplessly looks on unable to convince her that he liked everything exactly as it was. But as the song goes, he becomes accustomed to her face - clearly not a difficult thing to do.
The story gets very sweet – with oodles of charm thrown around by Tony and Michelle – as these two slowly fall in love with each other – but both find it impossible to tell the other. This being a hospital drama eventually melodrama sets in and the film unfortunately loses much of its charm. The acting from both Tony and Michelle is just terrific – Tony creates such a real person – and Michelle gives a wonderfully quirky but finally lovable performance – one of the best from her in a few years.
Pinky Cheung, Kenny Bee and Valerie Chow
Others appearing in this film with smaller roles – Valerie Chow as a lawyer, Pinky Cheung as a nurse, Stephen Fung as a young doctor, Melvin Wong as a senior doctor, Vincent Wan as – I am not sure and Jackie Lui as a triad member. Unfortunately, none of them have much to do in the film – and their story lines peter out or are left unfinished and perplexing. Making even smaller cameos are Emotional Cheung and Kristy Yeung.

My rating for this film: 6.0


DVD Information:

Distributed by Deltamac

The transfer is extremely good

The Deltamic dvds seem to have this confusing menu. First it is in Chinese - with options for chapters (8) and for a trailer. There is another option but I still can't figure out what it does - I press enter and it just stays there.

Letterboxed

Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks - accessed from the audio button on the remote control

The subtitles are Chinese or English - accessed from the subtitle button on the remote control.