Drama Fantasia Festival

Fantasia Festival Review: ‘Time’ is a Fitting Tribute to Three of Hong Kong Cinema’s Greatest Icons

August 25, 2021Ben MK

They say time heals all wounds. But for Chau (Patrick Tse), time is but a constant reminder of the many wounds he inflicted during his glory days as a formidable and feared assassin, when he was known as "the Lethal Blade." Now that he and his former partners-in-crime, Fung (Petrina Fung) and Chung (Suet Lam) are all well into their golden years, however, it seems that Hong Kong has forgotten about them and its residents have moved on. That is, until they reinvent themselves as the Guardian Angels of the Elders, and start helping the city's senior citizens with their requests for assisted suicide.

Enter Tze-ying (Suet Ying Chung), a teenage girl desperately seeking a solution to her problems. Pregnant, abandoned by both her boyfriend and her own family, and emotionally distraught, all she wants is for Chau to put her out of her misery. Yet, when he refuses, she quickly forms an unlikely bond with her would-be killer instead. Adopting him as her reluctant surrogate grandfather and moving into his humble lodgings, she soon becomes inseparable from him, even suggesting that he train her to become his protégé. However, when Chau hatches a plan to get Tze-ying back on her feet by intimidating her ex-boyfriend into rekindling their romance, it ends up backfiring disastrously. And before long, he, Fung and Chung must mount an impromptu mission to rescue Tze-ying before she makes an irreversible decision that she'll inevitably regret.

Directed by Ricky Ko, the result is both a bittersweet examination of ageing and a damning critique of society's treatment of the elderly, not to mention a fitting tribute to three of Hong Kong cinema's most iconic actors. More importantly, though, Time is an endearing reminder that family is what you make of it. And that while blood may be thicker than water, there's no substitution for the care and concern of a genuine friend.

Time makes its Canadian premiere at the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 39 min.

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