Red Maid, the Matchmaker

Red Maid, the Matchmaker

Dir/Librettist: Lung To
Scr: Fung King
Prod Co: Taoyuan
Co-starring: Law Kim Long, Law Yim-hing, Poon Yat On, Lau Hark-suen
1958 | B&W | DCP | Cantonese | Chinese Lyrics | 105min

Production company Taoyuan chose for its inaugural film a comedy and Fong Yim-fun gets to take a break from playing long-suffering roles and showcase her talents in making us laugh! She plays the spritely titled character, brandishing a fresh image. The film is an adaptation of the literary classic Romance of the Western Chamber, in which the Prime Minister's daughter (Law Yim-hing), under siege from rebel soldiers, is rescued by a plan formulated by a poor scholar (Law Kim-long), with whom she is in love. But her mother (Poon Yat On) reneges afterwards on her promise to let the rescuer marry the daughter, and the clever Red Maid steps up as go-between, devising a series of sharp-witted tactics to help the lovers.

Red Maid is perhaps the most interesting character in Romance of the Western Chamber and Fong animates her ingenuity and nimble wit with charm. She is the ace of servants, constantly arguing with the Minister's wife, upsetting her employer with stinging remarks that generate ample laughter. Adding to the delightful performance is Fong's spirited use of her eyes, shining with sparkle whether reciting poetry or speaking in exaggerated dialects. Law Yim-hing puts forth a rare performance as the demure daughter and character actor Lau Hark-suen is perfectly devious as the corrupt, lustful cousin. Director Lung To makes impeccable use of off-screen sound, coordinated with an adroit mise-en-scene that enhances dramatic effects.

Date Time Venue
11/11/2022 (Fri) 11:00am Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

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