By: Nick Askam
This film was the centerpiece screening at The Asian Film Festival of Dallas 2017. Apparently, it was also one of the highest grossing movies in Hong Kong last year. That’s one of the reasons why I was most interested in the film. It was also nice to learn about some of the most ruthless gangsters in China at the time. Their stories were interesting, and the idea of
them coming together was a different take on what many gangster stories are like in the US.
Trivisa is about 3 gangsters in Hong Kong coming together to perform one big heist. All eyes are upon them as they try to meet up and perform this amazing feat. The major problems with this are that it was in a time where cell phones weren’t really a thing and the government was watching them.
This film was directed in three parts, one for each gangster. Each part had its own identity, which made it all the more different to me. The directors are Jevons Au, Frank Hui, and Vicky Wong. The gangsters are Yip Kowk-foon (Richie Jen), Cheuk Tze-keung (Jordan Chan), and Kwai Ching-hung (Ka Tung Lam).
Yip Kowk-foon’s part in this film was easily the most interesting. The way that the character flowed between scenes and had to find his place despite others because no one cared who he was at times really brought me in. It was also cool to see him hand around vases, something I didn’t understand all that well.
It was fun to see him succeed, as he was a character who made his decisions well and made you want to root for him. I really liked the way that he interacted with his friends and enemies, and I wanted him to be back on screen every opportunity that he got.
I wish I could say the same nice things about Kwai Ching-hung’s part. Honestly, I found him to be so boring. I know that he was trying to lay low, but we were told more about his big heists than we were shown, and that made him seem like he was lying to us. He was actually lying to his friend in the film, but I wanted him to show why he was one of the most notorious people in China. There were only a couple moments where I felt he became that character, and that was honestly a letdown for me. I wanted to be enthralled with all of these people, but I couldn’t be if I was never shown why he was a bad guy, aside from one or two situations.
Finally, I did enjoy Cheuk Tze-keung’s part. I would say he was the most fun to watch in action. I liked how boisterous and outgoing he was, despite being so terrifying. The ear scene won’t get out of my head. I thought he was an interesting character study, which made him a great choice for the movie’s lead. He was a little cheesy at times, especially with the karaoke machine scenes, but I did like his reactions to each situation during his quest for the other two. That sold his performance, at least in my eyes.
Overall, I did have fun in this film and learned a great deal when it comes to gangsters in China. It is really cool to see how they’re portrayed on screen. After watching Trivisa, I honestly want to know more about each one of them and how they fit into the history of Hong Kong.
Images from IMDb.com
P.S. to the lady texting during the middle of the film. I was right next to you and missed about 4 minutes because I was contemplating asking you to stop. I guess thanks for not doing it the whole movie.