Lonely Fifteen (1982)

Directed by
Troubled teens in the 1980's
Reviewed by Simon on 2024-06-20

This Hong Kong new-wave film about delinquent teens in the 1980's was nominated for a bunch of awards, and garnered a Best Actress win for one-time actress Lam Bik-Kei in the lead role.

It's artfully shot and is a rare HK film from this era with sync sound. The story beats are familiar, though probably less so when it was released in 1982. It's conveys a sense of doomed youth familiar from films like Tsui Hark's DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS.

For the most part it's pretty low key, but towards the end it perhaps overindulges in melodrama - there are a couple of scenes where pulling back from the brink would have been more effective in making the viewer contemplate its existence, and the shadow it casts over the characters lives.

This weakens the impact of the film a bit, but it's still an effective depiction of the lives of a particular slice of society with memorable performances from the young cast.