Misty Drizzle



Reviewed by YTSL

Let's be utterly honest here:  This is yet another of those movies which I would not have watched -- and think that Hong Kong film fans would be interested in -- if it did not star Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia.  Thus it was quite frustrating that although she is this 107 minute length work's top billed performer, she does not appear until the middle of the 9th minute, disappears outright in the 37th minute and is not to be seen again -- bar for a scant five minutes in between -- until very close to the end of this Taiwanese production!  Although there have been productions in which she has appeared for less time than this one (E.g., "Ashes of Time") and others in which we don't even get to see her eyes unobscured by sunglasses at least once (Cf. "Chungking Express"; what was it with Wong Kar Wai and Brigitte Lin?!), I still have to say that this is THE film which most underutilizes this talented actress of all the ones -- 35 and counting! -- that I have seen thus far...

This is not to say though that her character did not have few things happen to her.  Among other things:  Her widowed mother suddenly dies of a heart attack, the young woman gets pregnant and contemplates having her abortion, and she has serious relationships with -- not one or even two but -- THREE different men, all of whom were good friends at the start of MISTY DRIZZLE.  With regards to her character's dalliance with that played by Charlie Chin (the actor to whom Brigitte Lin was engaged for a while in real life):  It took a scant three minutes of screen time passing before they started making googly eyes at each other!  While this may already seem quick by most movie conventions, believe me when I say that I think this constitutes light speed by "old" -- circa mid 1970s -- Taiwanese movie standards!!

MISTY DRIZZLE actually features a more complicated plot as well as pays more attention to other performers than the other Taiwanese dramas I have seen that star a young, frail looking Brigitte Lin.  It begins with a couple whose marriage is being negatively affected by the wife neglecting her husband and two children while making efforts to become a movie star.  After the woman takes off one day to pursue her dreams, the man finds some solace with his secretary (The actress who was still years away from being known as Brigitte Lin plays a character whose Chinese personal name of Chun Hsia is rather similar to her Ching-Hsia).  Not long after being introduced to a friend of her boyfriend's who has just returned from abroad to work in his company, the pair find themselves attracted to each other (In this very conservative film, we learn of this in a scene in which their eyes lock and hands touch while accidentally reaching out to pick up a fallen tube of Colgate toothpaste which he had gone to her apartment to borrow from her [Don't ask!]).
At first, the couple (Brigitte Lin and Charlie Chin) decides to keep their love a secret from his friend and her erstwhile boyfriend as well as boss.  Before too long, what with their doing such as both not turning up for work on the same days, he finds out the truth.  Feeling regret at causing ill feeling between two  childhood friends, Chun Hsia leaves town without telling either of these two men, choosing instead to only tell one of their childhood friends who happens to be yet another work colleague.  Much of the rest of the film deals with the men's reactions to finding her no longer around and what happens to them for some time afterwards (one of them gets more and more unhappy and angry with his friend; the other meets with a motor accident but also finds another woman to marry and a third -- who just had to be his bitter friend's sister -- to love!), with Brigitte's character only coming back into the picture to announce that she is pregnant by one of them...
In truth, I feel that I have written more about MISTY DRIZZLE than this rather lame movie deserves.  A good idea of how bad I think it is can be gathered from my feeling that the best thing about this production is how scenic it makes parts of Taiwan look (there is a lot of jetting around and travelling by train from one location to another).  All in all, it can be safely stated that this is one of THE films in Brigitte Lin's vast as well as rich repertoire that deserves to be as obscure as it is.  If it's not already clear:  This work is strictly for Brigitte completists; what with its not being that entertaining a movie at all along with its not containing enough of this overwhelmingly delightful actress to really please your garden variety Brigittephile!

My rating for the film:  3.