Til Death Do Us Part (1998)

Directed by
Bleak end-of-love story
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-04-02

I really hate love stories, I really do. I particularly hate love stories where I'm asked to care about the difficulties that beautiful people have in getting each other in the sack or something like that. It's basically just that I'm bitter, obviously. But given that this is the case, you can understand how refreshing it is when the fairy tale romance between two not-too-beautiful people (Anita Yuen & Alex Fong) is suddenly brought short when Fong returns home from work on his birthday and announces that he has another girlfriend, and is leaving.

The movie focuses on that other, more personally poignant, part of a relationship - the end of one. It takes a fairly honest and unflinching look at the effect of a break-up on all concerned. Anita Yuen is our central character, and the one most severely affected by the break up. She was living the fairytale life (or so she thought), and her marriage and her man were totally core to her concept of her life and herself. Once the relationship that was rooted so deeply is torn out, she begins to fall apart.

Anita's performance is excellent - I think she might have won best actress for it? It's an intense performance, and a harrowing one. The other characters in the picture are equally well developed and portrayed though - Alex Fong as the errant husband, Almen Wong as "the other woman", Francis Ng as the lawyer who takes Anita's case and befriends her, and the young child actress Wong Man Yi as the daughter in the middle of it all.

Director Daniel Lee has quite an interesting filmography behind him now - from the impenetrable artsiness of What Price Survival to the bleak drama of A Fighter's Blues, passing inexplicably through Black Mask on the way. TDDUP is on the art side of the list, slightly more so than A FIGHTER'S BLUES but less so than WHAT PRICE... not a bad balance.

The movie manages to be very fair (nobody is really blamed) and convincing in its portrayal - until it goes a bit OTT at the end, perhaps.

Probably another movie that will get looked over due to the dull & generic name, but worthy of attention for those that like their love stories well crafted but a little more serious... alright, downright depressing :D