Posted: 11/23/2003

 

Golden Chicken

(2002)

by Alexander Rojas



Hilarious exploration of one woman’s wacky life of prostitution, spanning over 20 years in Hong Kong.


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Golden Chicken is the story of Kum, a Chinese prostitute who recounts several episodic moments that span over 20 years in her profession while locked in an ATM booth to a desperate down on his luck robber. Kum’s stories reflect not only her own personal growth and maturity, but also the unpredictable changes of Hong Kong’s economics and politics that weigh heavily on the lives of it’s citizens.
Kum is delightfully played by Hong Kong actress Sandra Ng, as a goof-ball young woman who gets involved in Hong Kong’s sex trade. Although Kum is mostly seeing as unattractive she manages to survive and gain popularity among many clients. Through a series of flashbacks spanning over 20 years, Kum is seen in moments that reveal strange and absurd behavior from her clients to emotionally inflicting experiences that show a human side to the women in the sex trade.

Many of the scenes are fun to watch and Sandra Ng gives a wonderful performance as the Golden Chicken (In Hong Kong “golden chicken” means ultimate hooker). However, the cast around her lack the personality and charisma set by Sandra Ng. Most of the supporting characters are not given enough time to develop, making it difficult to sympathize with them at a tragic or critical moment they endure. The most interesting of the supporting characters is the gangster Kum meets at the massage parlor, who becomes a quiet and mysterious love interest that wonders in and out of Kum’s life as she lingers on his one promise. Hong Kong actors Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, Fulltime Killer) and Tony Leung (Double Vision, Love Will Tear Us Apart) make humorous cameos.

Golden Chicken relies on the cuteness of it’s lead character to propel the story forward and manages to make a sweet and mostly entertaining comedy. Perhaps the translation of the Cantonese language film into English subtitles makes it lose a lot of the subtle humor that is best understood in its original language.

Alexander Rojas has plans for tonight that include: popcorn, Valentina hot sauce, 6 pints of Guinness, a hot blonde and a Takashi Miike movie (Ichi the Killer, I believe).



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