For me there is a quaint pleasure in looking back
at some of Brigitte Lin’s early film work. Long before she became a huge
HK film icon – and her films were full of baleful glares and swirling sleeves
and mind-blowing imagery – she was a big star in her homeland of Taiwan
– but in a very different type of film.
During the 1970’s she performed in a large
number of sudsy/weepy little dramas that have a little bit of comedy, some
smaltzy music (which I must admit to having developed a weakness for),
human drama and often a fair share of heartbreak. On some occasions all
ends on a bleak tragic note, while at other times all the issues of love
are resolved for a happy ever after ending. I think the audience for these
films was likely lonely housewives and adolescent girls – who would sit
in the dark theaters and cry their eyes out whenever Brigitte would have
her heart broken yet once again.
Admittedly, I would never view these types of
films if it weren’t for the fact that Brigitte graces them. They feel very
corny and outdated some twenty years after they were made – but Brigitte
was just so stunningly beautiful back then that it tears at your heart.
Her face just entrances you as it swerves between a myriad of expressions
- from hesitant smiles to indignant glares to inconsolable grief.
Misty Moon has some nice moments – a bit of
an edge to the characters – some nice natural dialogue – but regrettably
a love story that doesn’t exactly grab you by the heart. Brigitte is a
kindergarten teacher and one-day she comes across the little girl who lives
across the hall from her (Brigitte still lives with her family) in the
stairwell of her apartment building. This kid is the evil seed – just a
wretched child that needs a good thrashing – which is exactly what Brigitte
does to her!
The child’s father – Charlie Chin (also a big
Taiwanese heartthrob in the 70’s, but best known to HK film fans for his
appearances in the first two Lucky Star films) – later tells Brigitte to
mind her own business. He is a bit of a pathetic fellow – always saying
things like “I’m worthless. Useless.” – and gets drunk much of the time.
His wife left him a few years back and he has seemingly not gotten over
it. Still for some unexplainable reason Brigitte becomes attracted to him.
It must be his saying things like “You can’t keep a perfect pearl in a
torn pocket”, to which Brigitte tenderly replies “Let me sew that pocket”.
I’ll have to remember that one – except I’m sure any girl I know would
reply “Torn pocket? Perfect pearl? What the hell are you talking about
– why don’t you just take it to the tailor”. Not Brigitte though
- she understands this tortured soul perfectly.
It’s all very . . . unconvincing and who really
cares. Charlie is just such a wanker that who could believe that Brigitte
would fall for him. And then the ex-wife shows up – and Brigitte wonders
will Charlie still love her. Hopefully not, Brigitte!
This film is basically for the pleasure of viewing
Brigitte only – watch her dance the twist, sing a lullaby, shed some tears
and look so very lovely.
My rating for this film: 5.0