Drink Drank Drunk (HK - DVD R3)
Cas harlow takes a look at the romantic comedy from the director of 2 Young...
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East Asian romantic comedies tend to stand out from most other movies. Films like Windstruck, My Sassy Girl and 2 Young (which was by the same director as this movie) may be slightly odd in their narrative but often the heart is in the right place and they have some kind of quaint little attraction to them. Unlike many Western counterparts, however, they tend to always focus on a girl who—one day—hits it off with a complete stranger, bringing strong elements of fate into the romantic proceedings. Drink Drank Drunk, as perhaps you would not expect from the title, is another one of these romantic comedies, but did they get the balance right?
We are introduced to two trio rival girl gangs, desperately competing for the top spot as beer promoters. One gang are clearly using sexy attire and dressing down to secure purchases but leader Siu Min's rival girls refuse to demean themselves, instead relying on good old-fashioned persuasion. It is also quite a benefit that Siu has a cunning invulnerability to alcohol—she just doesn't get drunk—and clients who want to have drinking competitions (on their tabs of course) invariably get laughed under the table.
One day, after enduring her usual work shift of drunks and idiots, Siu takes pity on a young drunk man, Michel, and helps him get a taxi. Somehow he convinces her to let him stay the night at her place and in the morning she finds him gone, having tidied her flat and left her a note in French. Intrigued, she hunts him down and ends up offering him a place to stay more permanently, much to the amusement of her nosy friends. Pretty soon they are acting like a couple and setting up a small bakery business together so that he can show off his baking skills.
Unfortunately it is not long before alcohol comes into play once more and yet again we get to see her being able to easily hold her liquor but him stumbling around like a zombie. The truth comes out, however, when they are both heavily intoxicated, as Siu Min explains how she has had much experience of guys who will say anything to a girl when they are drunk but—in the morning—are long gone. It is now up to Michel to convince her that he really means what he feels and that his love for her is true, but will it all end happily ever after?
Siu Min is played by Miriam Yeung, a pretty girl with unusual looks who is able portray a character both strong and fiercely independent and, at the same time, also cynical from past broken hearts and desperate to meet somebody who will prove her worries misplaced. The would-be boyfriend, Michel, is suitably underplayed by Daniel Wu, displaying enough chemistry for the romance to work without ever straining or acting in an unnaturally clichéd fashion. It is also worth noting Alex Fong as the rival love interest, Brother Nine, who hams it up no end while trying to (ineffectively) win Siu Min's affection.
Drink Drank Drunk is a perfectly enjoyable little romantic comedy, with a warm, understated cuteness to the lead female and a reasonable amount of chemistry between the two stars. You can clearly see how it came out of the same fold as the underage love story 2 Young as the common director has managed to paint an equally natural and believable love story. There are a few laughs, but not so many as to spoil the pleasantly developed romantic side to the proceedings. I have to say that it is nothing particularly special, and does not work as well as movies like Windstruck, but nevertheless if you are particularly fond of movies in this genre then it is worth checking out and it certainly makes for refreshing viewing in comparison to so many of the Hollywood equivalents that are churned out on a regular basis.
Drink Drank Drunk is presented in a fairly decent 1.78:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer. The detail is good throughout, with little softness, some noticeable edge enhancement but no real signs of digital artefacting and no grain. The colour scheme is quite broad and the colours are never less than well represented, with deep and solid blacks. There are no print defects whatsoever—which is only what you would expect from such a recent movie, and overall it is a perfectly decent presentation.
Drink Drank Drunk has two main soundtrack options in the original Cantonese language—a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a Dolby Digital 2.0 option, along with a Mandarin dub in Dolby Digital 5.1. The 5.1 Cantonese track is pretty good, with the vocals clearly presented at the forefront but a nice—if childish—score giving the surrounds plenty of work (although also dominating the frontal array). Effects are fairly few and far between and there’s no real bass to speak of. Overall it is a solid effort that perfectly suits the material on offer here. We also have reasonable English subtitles, which occasionally miss out the odd word, or get something wrong, but aren’t too hard to decipher.
First up there is an extra entitled ‘NG Shots’, which is basically half a dozen outtakes (from what I can make out). Unfortunately, like all of the other extras on the disc, it has no English subtitles, so makes very little sense and proves very little worth to those who—like me—cannot understand Cantonese. There are four deleted scenes, for what they are worth, fifteen minutes’ of behind the scenes footage (though again, without translation, the interviews and on-set shots are largely worthless) and trailers for this movie, 2 Young, the thriller Set to Kill (that sounds like it should star Steven Seagal) and the steamy-looking lesbian forbidden love story Butterfly.
Drink Drank Drunk is a bit of a silly movie, but it is still quite harmless, pleasant viewing and makes for a refreshing change from many of its Hollywood counterparts. Nothing seems forced in this movie, the romance is well-developed and the whole affair is skilfully underplayed. The video representation is perfectly acceptable, as is the rather warm soundtrack, and there are a few nice extras to round off the release, making this a tempting purchase for those who like similar movies and are interested in seeing how this one turns out.
This title is available for $10.99 from retailer YesAsia when purchased through this link.
Review by Casimir Harlow
Not suitable for young persons and children
Release Date: 6th October 2005
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital 2.0 Cantonese, Dolby Digital 5.1 Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Extras: NG Shots, Making-of Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Yee Tung-Shing
Cast: Miriam Yeung, Daniel Wu, Alex Wong
Length: 102 minutes
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