Dark Shadow


Reviewed by: sukting

June 20, 2010

Rating: three-point-five

How long
2 hours

Foreword
Ma Chun Wai and Yeung See Kei have worked on many dramas. One of them was 《突围行动》although they did not act as a couple there. Others include 《天机算》, TVB2004年的anniversary clip《方世玉爱上洪熙官》and his MV 《我最关心》. How did they act as a couple in 《悬案追凶》as the first time?

Story
Ou Ho Mun (Ma Chun Wai) is a psychiatrist who migrates with his foster parents to work in a hospital in Manhattan. His parents never keep his parentage from him so he often keeps contact with his orphanage friend, Zhou Yan (Ou Kum Tong). Upon getting a letter from his professor, he returns to Hong Kong to work in a hospital as he regards it as his homeland. After saving patients one day, he feels someone pointing something at his back.

He knows that Yan is making fun of him again and both tease each other. Yan works in a funeral company and brings him to the temple. He has seen the photos of 2 dead people born on the same day although they die on different days. Could they been triplets who lose contact all these years and the other empty side of the urn hall is meant to be for Ho Mun? Although he says this as a joke, both can’t help feeling a shiver down their spines.

They go to the registry of birth and deaths to secure their death certificates. Sure indeed, they are born on the same day although they have different addresses. Ho Mun visits both families. One parent finds his reporter second brother, Lee Sai Kit in front of her doorstep. Another revealed that his insurance agent eldest brother, Choi Wing Kei was given to him after his tenant, Mrs Fok (Lo Gun Lan) gave birth to triplets. Ho Mun was given to the orphanage when young too.

Ho Mun had a look at his biological mother’s photo and discovered that his brothers’ girlfriend is Song Tin Sum (Yeung See Kei). Is there a link to this? Ho Mun decides to check on his parentage. Knowing that she works at the university, he comes to visit her to find out more about his brothers. She only finds him familiar looking but can’t recall anything. The university’s chemistry professor, Professor Ma tells Ho Mun that he doesn’t want him to visit Tin Sum again to remind her of the sad past.

She is too shocked to suffer from amnesia as his brothers suddenly kill themselves after incurring bad debts in their credit cards. Ho Mun returns to work to find someone sending him a pig heart to stop him from checking further. Just then, Tin Sum comes and reveals that she wants to remember everything although it may be painful. Her parents have told her that she was back in Hong Kong in 2000 but she was already here in 1999.

She could not recall anything that happened within this time. Ho Mun brings her to the front porch of the hospital and tells her to remove her shoes like him. He gets her to draw. Noticing that she uses very bright colours, he is aware that she is very eager to know the truth. When he returns home, he finds a pig head hanging at the door. Sensing a person hiding around, he chases after the person at the staircase.

He catches her and discovers that she is Mrs Fok as she sprains her ankle. He pretends that he is going to call the police but she stops him. She denies that she is Mrs Fok but has to reveal the truth when he insists of doing that. She does this as she doesn’t want any harm to come to her remaining son. She recalls on why she leaves her sons to others. Mr Fok has an affair with his underground boss, Lam Kum’s mistress (Lo Lok Lum).

He chases them to the rooftop. Upon seeing that the woman wants to return to Kum to forsake him, Mr Fok pulls the woman to jump off the building to their deaths together. Kum then wants his men to seek Mrs Fok out no matter where she is. Mrs Fok is frightened that Kum will seek revenge on her so she leaves her sons to others while she goes on the run on her own. Ho Mun becomes an item with Tin Sum after her treatments with him. However, he keeps it from Mrs Fok in order not to worry her.

In the meantime, Tin Sum gets flowers and a CD with the words ‘I Love You’ on top of it. She thinks that they are from Ho Mun. One day, Tin Sum comes to Ho Mun’s office with flowers. She becomes irritable and throws some of the stalks on the floor. Seeing this, Ho Mun feels peculiar but he still smiles. When coming to lunch together, Tin Sum flies into a rage to scold a waiter for bringing the whole food. In reality, the waiter does not make a mistake. Tin Sum refuses to admit that she is wrong and storms away.

Ho Mun notices that Tin Sum’s condition is serious. He approaches Professor Ma with Tin Sum’s drawings but he still dismisses it. It takes a long time for Tin Sum to recover so he intends to send her overseas soon. Yan doesn’t know why Ho Mun wants to know more about Kum as they follow him to a tea house. Seeing that Yan keeps looking at them, Kum demands to know what is going on and both flee. While hiding, a mysterious man comes to him with an electric pole and tells him to mind his own business. He lies to Mrs Fok that he only gets a scratch.

Yan also keeps the truth from her. The three are in a lift when it suddenly breaks down to go all the way down in high speed. To prevent Ho Mun from getting hurt by a falling light, Mrs Fok shields him and is injured on the head. When the insurance company for the lift offers to pay damages, she screams that it is attempted murder by Kum. Ho Mun has to tell the representative that he will meet him another day as he keeps his name card.

Ho Mun also thinks that Mrs Fok is kicking up a fuss. Mrs Fok walks out and happens to see Kum with his men. She hides aside and notices that Kum talks to Tin Sum when she just arrives. She believes that Tin Sum must have conspired with Lum to kill Ho Mun’s brothers and sneaks home. Ho Mun is taken aback to find Mrs Fok back home. She yells again upon seeing Tin Sum with him and threatens to jump off the window.

She doesn’t believe that Tin Sum doesn’t know Lum and only tells him to throw his cigarette into the dustbin as smoking isn’t allowed in the hospital. Ho Mun takes Tin Sum outside and she bursts into tears. She isn’t angry that Mrs Fok is hostile to her. She is really frightened that she might have killed them. Upon reaching home, Professor Ma advises her to forget everything and use the aroma oil that he has prepared for her so that she can sleep better.

Mrs Fok can’t take it anymore and confronts Kum. Ho Mun and Yan try to stop her and all are brought to see Kum. Mrs Fok asks why Kum keeps harming her children and doesn’t let her off. Kum replies that he can’t even recall her face after all these years. The threat that he has made is an empty one since he is no lack of women. He is in hospital the other day not to end her life but to visit his sick girlfriend.

Mrs Fok realizes that she has made a dreadful mistake. If she has kept all her sons with her, they might have survived. She is in tears when watching Sai Kit’s interview with a victim who is sexually assaulted by a pedophile when young. Now she only has memories of them through this tape and the photos. Ho Mun then dismisses Kum as the culprit. But who is the one who tries to harm him by telling him not to be with Tin Sum? He watches the tape and realizes that the interviewee seems to be his attacker.

Ho Mun goes out with Tin Sum and senses someone following them. He goes to get drinks for her and suddenly Jimmy (Tang Yat Kuan) appears to confess everything. He is in love with her all along and all things are from him. Can’t she accept him? She is very frightened and rejects him. Ho Mun and Yan corner Jimmy. Jimmy has a bitter expression – if she knows who he is, she will find him filthy.

He jumps off a short wall when the men want to chase after him. Professor Ma is driving there upon knowing that Tin Sum is with Jimmy. He knocks Jimmy down and Tin Sum is very traumatized. Flashbacks of the past on how she has arguments with Wing Kei and how she discovers Sai Kit’s body at the harbour returns. She is so shocked that she faints. Professor Ma decides to bring forward his plan to send her overseas.

Upon knowing that Tin Sum is leaving soon, Ho Mun comes to visit her to try to ask her to change her mind. She gets very agitated – so is Ho Mun after entering her room. He doesn’t know why he loses his temper and even gives her a slap. Both end up at the rooftop and he saves her from jumping off the building. However, he trips and Tin Sum holds his hand. Suddenly, she smiles devilishly and lets go, causing him to break one leg.

Mrs Fok and Yan advise Ho Mun not to be with Tin Sum again. Ho Mun is calm as he thinks that Jimmy is not the one who kill his brothers. If he wants to kill him, he doesn’t even need to warn him. There must be a real killer out there. Upon getting news that Jimmy has escaped from hospital, he takes his crutch and informs Professor Ma after he fails to get Tin Sum from her cellphone.

Professor Ma doesn’t want to waste time and drives to a deserted house. Ho Mun is puzzled that he knows this place and follows him. Sure enough, Jimmy has kidnapped Tin Sum. He tries to rape her after tearing her clothes. She yells that he is filthy and he is puzzled why he can’t rape her. Is he impotent? Just then, Professor comes in and bashes him up and strangles him.

Ho Mun notices that Jimmy is still breathing but he will let Professor Ma call the police while he brings Tin Sum to the car. Professor Ma then continues to strangle Jimmy but is surprised when the two return. Ho Mun has known that Professor Ma must be the one who harm his brothers. But how does he get to know this place?
Professor Ma then tells the truth. Everything should have ended perfectly if Jimmy is dead. Upon getting Ho Mun’s call to know that Jimmy is with them, he steps on the accelerator to knock him down. He then pretends to be frightened to look as if that this is an accident. In reality, it is attempted murder.

This place is where he sexually assaults Jimmy when he is younger and Wing Kei discovers this. Wing Kei keeps extorting him till he becomes penniless. He then drugs his wine before forcing a whole bottle of sleeping pills down his throat and gets his cheque back. As for Sai Kit, he is curious about Professor Ma after interviewing Jimmy so he gets close to Tin Sum.

Professor Ma spikes his drink with chemicals before pulling him into the harbour water. The police do not suspect foul play as both of them are in debt. Professor Ma then runs after the two with an electric saw. Ho Mun and Tin Sum manage to hide from him. Professor Ma accidentally trips over the corner and falls to his death. Ho Mun and Tin Sum offer incense to him in the temple. He is now with the two brothers in the same temple. The spot that Professor Ma has intended for Ho Mun is now for himself.

Song
The subtheme song is ‘That's why you go away’ which is popularly used in many dramas. I am curious about the reason behind the song. Is it telling Tin Sum the reasons why the brothers leave her?

Interesting facts

Chun Wai was usually very careful when working with female co-stars as there would always be flying rumours about him liking them in the end. When shooting this telemovie with See Kei, they only talked in front of the camera. They tried out positioning and looking at the script separately. It seemed that they were not close friends. When the cameras started rolling, she leaned close to his chest but the initial kiss became a kiss on the forehead.

When asked if he regretted it, he revealed that he was the one who suggested it. It was not due to be afraid of rumours but as SARS posed a problem then. He could not even trust himself so he preferred to take precautions. It was the first time he worked with her so they were not close then. He joked that he was immune to rumours and was not afraid of anything.

The attempted rape scene had See Kei almost half-dressed and being chased by Yu Yeung with an electronic saw. This was her first time coping with the scene and she was not used to it. However, her boyfriend, Lee Wing Ho was more nervous than her. He even called her after the shoot to find out how it was. She had to reassure him that the tv station had strict limits and Yat Kuan was a professional.

As both of them had many mood swing scenes in the telemovie, Chun Wai joked that the most challenging part was to act as 3 different characters till he nearly had a nervous breakdown. The three had different characteristics and he was very cautious. See Kei was afraid that she would end up like Cheung Kok Wing to be unable to detach herself from the role.
 
Conclusion

If Ng Kai Wai is a good interpretation of a doctor, the other person appropriate will be Chun Wai. He also scores points with me once he dons the doctor robe. I agree with many others – Chun Wai and See Kei are very matching as a couple indeed. However, more chemistry can be seen in a modern drama than a periodic one. As this is their first time acting together, their performance is acceptable although they don’t create much sparks as we don’t see passionate scenes between them.

On the whole, the telemovie creates suspense and all give it a good shot. It is quite easy to guess the murderer’s identity. What surprise me are the reasons for killing. It is quite unexpected as the murderer is very crafty to plan his every move. Yat Kuan is especially convincing as an unwanted victim. As a thriller, I will recommend all to watch this telemovie to watch how all perform in their younger days.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On story : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

On song : ***1/2 (Scale of 5)

  


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