Writer: Low Yuen YimWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father”
In this film, the 1960s era in Hong Kong is revisited through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy called Big Ears with a fishbowl over his head, acting as his space helmet. It provides a slight distortion but not enough to shield him from experiencing how hard life can be sometimes especially when the world revolves around money.
The story revolves around the ups and downs of a family; a father (Simon Yam) who is a shoemaker, a mother (Sandra Ng) who is a natural haggler, a cheerful eight-year-old (Buzz Chung) who has a habit of stealing and his sixteen-year-old brother (Aarif Lee) who is athletic and intelligent with a bright future ahead of him. The family lives in a close knitted community where everything is shared and everyone is treated like their own family members, portraying the classic 1960s charm.
Aarif, a newcomer to the acting world who looks like a cross between Taiwan based singer Wang Lee Hom and martial arts legend Bruce Lee, gets to exercise his singing talent at the end of the movie with an acoustic song entitled "Echoes of the Rainbow". Nevertheless, his younger brother (Buzz Chung) also a newcomer manages to steal nearly every scene of the movie with his mischievous but lovable antics.
The props on site help the audience to believe for that two hours they are really in the past such as the rotary dial desk phone where Desmond (Aarif Lee) made a call to his crush, Flora and the big clumsy looking cassette recorder where he recorded his first composition. Who knew that portable cassette recorders even existed then? The nostalgic scene that really got this reviewer excited was when the parents sat down on the steps and ate put chai ko
or known in English as "sticky rice pudding" - an activity probably done during their courtship days.
Natural disasters and misfortunes undergone by the family did not dampen their spirits instead they hold on to the can-do spirit of 1960s working class Hong Kongers. Audiences will leave the cinema feeling enthralled and have their hearts stolen by Buzz Chung's solid performance. No matter what happens, most importantly we have a roof over our heads.Cinema Online, 06 April 2010