My Left Eye Sees Ghosts


Reviewed by: Em

June 15, 2004

Rating: four

Director/Producer: Johnnie To / Wai Ka Fai

Cast: Sammi Cheng, Sean Lau, Cherrie Ying, Lee San San, Lam Suet, Wong Man Chee

Story Overview

After meeting rich boy Daniel whilst on holiday in the Caribbean, rich girl wannabe Ho Lai Chu (Chu) falls in love and marries him within the space of seven days of meeting him. However, Daniel meets with an untimely death in a diving accident and their short marriage is brought to a sudden end. Chu returns to Hong Kong and on the day of the funeral meets her new in-laws for the first time. Daniel’s mother, sister and business partner/ex-girlfriend discover that Chu is not the businessman’s daughter she claimed she was and is actually the daughter of a poor lay-about from inner city Kowloon. They have great doubts about her sincerity towards Daniel, but grudgingly accept her into the family.

Faced with the boredom of working at Daniel’s company and the extravagance of the overwhelming wealth she has inherited, Chu is like a spoiled child and indulges in a lifestyle of alcohol, cigarettes, petty crime and general madness. One night after a particularly heavy binge, Chu crashes her late husband’s vintage Mercedes and suffers traumatic injuries in the process. While she is unconscious, her soul leaves her body and when she realises that she is looking back at her own body, she is approached by a man dressed in schoolboy clothing. He frightens her back into her body and Chu finds herself being rushed to hospital with some quite horrific injuries, but only to her left eye.

Realising that after her recovery she can now see spirits and ghosts with her left eye, Chu finds herself being hounded by the overgrown schoolboy ghost Wong King Wai (Wai), who claims to be a childhood friend of hers who drowned when he was young. He leads her on a whole host of adventures, activities and quests, causing some trouble along the way, but the two develop an innocent yet deeply rooted friendship over the space of a year as gradually, Chu puts the past behind her and even starts gaining the respect of Daniel’s discerning family and building her own self-confidence.

Sadly, good times must come to an end and Wai appears one day bearing the news that he must go and be reincarnated. At the same time, Chu’s mother-in-law tells of her terminal cancer and burdens Chu with the responsibility of looking after Daniel’s sister. When Chu feels at the height of her despair, she asks Wai the question at the bottom of her heart – why has she been given the gift of ghostly sight, yet she cannot see the person whom she most wants to see: Daniel? Eager to make her happy before he leaves, Wai does his best to help her achieve this wish…

My Thoughts

In line with her recent string of heart-warming romantic light comedies, Sammi Cheng brings yet another touching storyline with a wonderful twist in the tale which is enough to bring a tear to one with the hardest of hearts. Less predictable than some of her other similar works, together with a collection of interesting sub-plots – this film is one which I would consider watching more than once. The ending to the story brings the well-planned storyline to a suitable conclusion, despite the element of over-perfection usually associated with fairytale endings.

Sammi’s portrayal of the slightly dippy, but deeply emotional Chu is to her usual standards, as she displays some great reactions and some accuracy of character transitions during her possession by the fat, flirtatious ghost, swapping convincingly between characters to give a greatly humorous performance. Her on-screen chemistry with co-star Sean Lau is refreshing and effective, with great interaction between the two during both the comedic and contemplative scenes.

In an innovative arrangement of matching Sammi with Sean, he once again shows his acting talent at its best in his role as playful, hyperactive phantom Wai, adding yet another facet to his wide variety of depictions. The combination of his child-like innocence together with his concern for the welfare of Chu is well played and totally likeable. In a particular scene where he stands sulking with his lower lip pulled up over his mouth, you just want to jump in there and give him a loving cuddle whereas the glisten of a tear in his eye as he says goodbye is enough to make you cry!

The co-stars help the movie to become the full, well-rounded production, which has earned its success and make much of the sub-plots as enjoyable as they are. Cherrie Ying plays Daniel’s rather innocent little sister and handles the personality switch just as well as she is also possessed by our Fat Ghost. Lee San San does a great job for the comedy with her random ear-piercing screams and Lam Suet as the officious, but straight-to-the-point mother-in-law. Topped off with a pleasant cameo from Simon Yam, this line up is quite appealing.

My doubts in this film lay in the settings and backdrops: Sammi’s wardrobe was horrendous and Sean’s excellent acting would have made redundant the need for the ill-fitting and stupid looking school uniform which he was given to wear. Totally random concepts were introduced with little benefit to either the viewing experience or the storyline, such as the introduction of May’s siblings and the scene at the vet’s, which spoiled the continuity of the storyline and often left me wondering how much content was actually lost to the cutting room floor perhaps.

Overall, the film was enjoyable with a strong, effective storyline and extremely likeable characters. Yet another “girly” movie – but one to leave you with a warm, tingly feeling inside!


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