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Days of Being Wild
Days of Being Wild
Actors: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Rebecca Pan
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2004     1hr 34min


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Movie Details

Actors: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Rebecca Pan
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Family Life
Studio: Kino Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/19/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Tagalog
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews all the wrong places...
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 11/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Days of Being Wild, Wong Kar-Wai's 1991 film, followed his 1988 As Tears Go By and solidified his style. In turn he made these two films after a couple of intriguing, unconventional swordsman-warrior films. It's easy to see why he's now regarded as one of the top Chinese directors; both his subjects and style are unique and captivating.

In Days of Being Wild he casts some of the best young Hong Kong actors then and now--Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau--in a tale of those who look for love and never seem to find it. Or at least not for long at all. When a completely reckless Don Juan type teases a beautiful stadium ticket taker, promising her at their first meeting he'll always remember her for the minute they shared, this is enough to seduce the lonely girl into falling for him, only to have him callously dump her when she asks him to marry her.

While she finds solace by talking to a street cop, the womanizer hooks up with a semi-sleazy dancehall girl, meanwhile roughing up his aunt's suitor for the attempted theft of her pearl earrings. His aunt chides him for driving away her older suitor, yet stoically accepts what he's done; she needs him more than her suitor. She raised him when his mother abandoned him and now is more attached to him than she realized.

The cop leaves his job and becaomes a sailor. The womanizer leaves town and hooks up with the sailor, completely coincidentally. Meanwhile the ticket taker girl and the dancehall girl find their own ways without the love they need, just as the sailor has done, trying to forget the ticket taker with whom he fell in love, never hearing from her, causing him to abandon his street, his town, and put out to sea.

The parable of a legless bird, the womanizer's fictional tale he uses in his seduction ploys, is one that frames this lyrical piece of filmmaking. The endpieces of lush jungle greenery--hundreds of thick palm trees--accompany the voiceover narration of this tale. The completely offbeat music, ranging from salsa to slow romantic dance music--competely Western--to quirky pizzicatos and glissandi, is similarly accompanied by Chris Doyle's assured cinematography. This was the first major Hong Kong film shot by Doyle and his rich style, embracing a wide spectrum of colors and tones is much in evidence, making this, as already noted, a truly unique cinematic experience.

In fact, WKW's collaboration with Doyle here is so complete, careful, well thought out, and subtle, that it would be impossible to imagine one without the other. So too is the use of the completely Western soundtrack. Set in 1960s Hong Kong, the feel of the era is effortlessly captured, also adding to the atmosphere of this rich film.

This is a landmark film in that, for its time, almost 15 years ago, it focused on aspects of life not previously shown in Hong Kong film and was an obvious departure from the martial arts movies American audiences expected from that part of the world. The advent of not only WKW but a number of 4th, 5th, and 6th generation directors from China and HK can easily count Wong Kar Wai as one of its breakthrough filmmakers. And this film is more than ample proof of that.

Loneliness, sadness, restlessness, lust, longing, emptiness. A film that resonates.....

Definitely recommended."
Obio Ntia | New York | 10/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A throwback to 1960's Hong Kong and an essential example of Wong Kar-wai's direction, "Days of Being Wild" is a must-see with its superb casting, camera work, and soundtrack. Leslie Cheung plays Yuddy, a reckless womanizer seeking the identity of his real mother. Andy Lau and Jackie Cheung fall for Leslie Cheung's discarded lovers--Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) and a dancer called Mimi (Carina Lau). With fine performances all around, "Days of Being Wild" portrays heartbreak and longing as it draws viewers into its moody atmosphere. Arty and worthy of multiple viewings."
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 11/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Contrary to other reviewer's notions of the film, "Days of Being Wild" does have a plot. The movie is a tale of existential angst. Stephen Teo places the movie in the area of quasi gangster cum romance. In short "Days of Being Wild" is, in the tradition of "Rebel without a Cause" an `ah fei' movie - a story of lost youth. A large portion of the movie centers on dysfunctional relationships and each and every character's existentialist angst. A really short synopsis follows. The movie is set in 1960s. Leslie Cheung plays the lead character of Yuddy - a self destructive narcissist who constantly hurts women.

In this movie, much like "Ashes in Time" the target of his self destruction is Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung). As previously stated, the film centers on the youthful, Yuddy, who learns from the drunken ex-consort who raised him that she not his real mother. Yuddy's real mother has left him in her care and moved to the Philippines. Much of the story is situated around Yuddy's need to go to the Philippines to see his mother. I would assume that the lack of connection to the mother is part of the motivation for Yuddy's `early object loss' and hence his inability to connect with either Su Lizhen or Lulu (a character who will show up again in 2046). Yuddy's "auntie," hoping to hold onto him, steadfastly refuses to reveal the name of his real mother. The revelation, predictably, unsettles Yuddy to his very center, unleashing a cavalcade of irreconcilable emotions.

Two women form the two pillars of Yuddy's existential angst and not surprisingly have the bad luck of falling in love with Yuddy. Similar to Tomas - the main character of Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" Yuddy cannot settle down and is stuck (at least in his head) in the liminal space of both/and. Yet, the reality is that he is trapped in the world of either/or and not both/end. Just as Tomas cannot have Sabina AND Teresa, Yuddy cannot have both Su Lizhen AND Mimi. Both are beset with choices.

On the one hand, we have Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) who works at a sports arena selling refreshments at a kiosk. On the other hand, juxtaposed against Su Lizhen's `plainness' (if we can ever call Maggie Cheung `plain') is the persona of the glitzy showgirl Lulu or Mimi. It is clearly `early object loss' that leaves Yuddy cold. As Lizhen slowly intimates her deep hurt over what is happening to her and Yuddy to Tide (Andy Lau), Tide begins to fall for her. The same, it is argued, might be said for Yuddy's Sancho Panza - Zeb (Jacky Cheung). Zeb find himself falling in love with Lulu. Yuddy learns of his birth mother's whereabouts and heads out to the Philippines. In the Philippines, he meets up with Tide and they encounter thugs who - not impressed with the `ah fei' Yuddy, well, do him in. The last minute appearance of Tony Leung seems like a setup for the next movie... too bad we have not had the pleasure... yet?

The movie may be all about Leslie Cheung but we should not forget the performances of Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, and Rebecca Pan. Despite the characters circling around the Yuddy character - each brings a dimension of their own into the movie. The strength, it is often argued, of Wong Kar Wai's movies is his highly developed (or undeveloped, yet very deep) characters.

Par for the course, just like all his other movies, "Days of Being Wild" is visually stunning. Working with Christopher Doyle, 1961 Hong Kong comes to life. As a Filipino abroad, I could not help but feel nostalgic when the movie shifted to the Philippines. I know that 1960s in the Philippines was one filled with cars and urban centers and not only the lush jungle scenes that fill the mise-en-scene. Who cares... it is only a movie and a good one at that. The movie draws from all angles for its greatness - the characters, the acting, the mise-en-scene, the cinematography, the whole ball of wax. The movie can be analyzed on many levels and I fail to do that here. However, on one level, like voyeurs we watch Yuddy's self destruction and enjoy the cathartic element of the `ah fei.' Bravo Wong Kar Wai! One more movie please!

Miguel Llora"
Terribly inferior subtitling on this release!
Cody K. | Jamokidence, Rhode Island, USA | 10/21/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I acquired the MegaStar/Golden Collection release of Days of Being Wild at a relatively low price. While the video transfer is quite good, the English subtitles are so much of a mess that I had to stop and review several scenes before I could get a sense of the dialog. I've got a high tolerance for the occasional errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation found in subtitles on many otherwise excellent Asian releases of Asian films;
but the subtitles here are so difficult to slog through that the viewer really comes away with a diminished sense of what the film is about.

After watching this version, I rented the Kino release. The subtitles are excellent -- as is the film, of course -- so my advice would be to avoid this one and get the Kino. Also, if ordering used, be sure that the seller is in fact offering the Kino version -- I've seen this one for sale on the Kino page as well, so look closely."