Fantasia Festival 2020: Chasing Dream (我的拳王男友, 2019)

Chasing Dream (我的拳王男友, 2019)

Director: Johnnie To

Cast: Jacky Heung, Keru Wang

Tiger, an aspiring MMA fighter, meets young Du, whose dream is to become a singer. Together they go from audition to audition as they try to get Du into the talent show Perfect Diva. And at the same time, Tiger tries to quit the ring – but leaving turns out to be harder than expected. – MyDramaList

With 70 director credits under his belt according to IMDB, Johnnie To has a huge array of movies under his belt spreading over many genres even if a lot of people will first remember mostly his action or crime titles. Coming back from a 3 year hiatus, Johnnie To’s latest offering is a sport and music comedy about chasing dreams. As it follows two people in debt to the same loan shark ending up living together to pay off their own debts doing random jobs while each pursuing their own dream. Tiger (Jacky Heung) fights these cage battles for the loan shark boss who ends up using his roommate Cuckoo Du as his bargaining chip and he ends up giving in each time to help her achieve her dream to win Perfect Diva, a singing competition. Something about this story is a little silly and been there done that and yet there’s this charming element about how its all put together especially with the array of characters, the comedy point and how its a little bit silly at times being rather reminescent of the 90s Hong Kong comedy.

Chasing Dream

Johnnie To doing this sort of movie adds quite a bit of charm no doubt. He brings in some great comedy points while executing some incredible scenes that feel a little over the top and yet manages to keep it entertaining. Of course, comedies are always subjective so what works for might not work for you. The use of the music element actually works out all the ways especially during a specific singing training scene to prepare Cuckoo for her competition as Tiger calls in a bunch of favors to be her band while trying to help her find her diva style that would fit her as he wheels in food for hotpot while throwing out different popular American singers and Cuckoo imitates their performance and singing style. It sounds a little ridiculous but actually the scene works out really well. All that culminates to a huge Bollywood style musical flash mob scene that is absolutely awesome. However, the movie isn’t all fun and laughs but still packs in a lot of drama especially on the side of Tiger as his boxing matches get more intense and the matches become harder to watch as his character really does connect and stand out the most in the entire film. Jacky Heung shines in this role as Tiger.

To be honest, Chasing Dream is almost back to the basics. Its a simple storyline. The plot points are fairly predictable. Inspirational tales about chasing dreams and going through a lot of obstacles has been done tons of times. The relationship between Cuckoo and Tiger is unique and its because of these two characters that the story stands out so much. The ridiculous comedy, the bright and entertaining bits balances well with the drama of highlighting what is the most important. Especially with a final ending scene that gives major homage to Rocky. Its hard to not slowly be taken over by this movie but then I’m also a sucker for music and chasing dreams movie so watching a movie titled exactly what it is seems like a solid win and Chasing Dream surprisingly not only met my expectations and exceeded it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

This past weekend was very eventful.  It was race weekend for us.  Race being dragonboat race, as it was Montreal International Dragon Boat Festival.  At the same time, on Saturday, I had to drive out to the country for a friend’s wedding.

For starters, I was INSIDE  a church, Eglise St Gregoire in Becancour, Quebec.  This church was so beautiful and the wedding itself was done fantastic.

I’m also going to show you what happens inside the gates of the dragon boat races.

 

 

From behind the gates is where all the action starts, we line up under tents to go on our boats in whatever lane we are supposed to go on.  The dock marshal makes sure we board and enter the right race while the volunteers are there to help bring the boats in and help everyone out on the docks.  In between, they watch the races as they come in.  All the gear is there, we have life jackets ready for paddlers to pick up and paddles of different sizes in the buckets.  We can see how its blocked off to the water and there are spectators lining up on the side, reinforces how we are INSIDE the action.  Too bad I could not take pictures as I paddle or else now that would be pretty intense!

After a crazy weekend, yesterday after work, I think everyone was happy to be nice and cozy INSIDE their homes while a severe thunderstorm hit. My house was lucky and just lost electricity for 30 seconds or so. Between 10pm and 10:30pm I took these pictures from inside my living room…

This is the normal night while its just raining…

THEN…we have this…when lightning flashed and thunder rumbled away…

This happened pretty much for a good while.  This is what afternoon rainy weather looks like..

Trust me..this isn’t 5pm..its 10ish pm…

So you can bet in this weather, I’m happy to be INSIDE!!