Review: ‘Lavender’

Films about angels who come to Earth to bring love and happiness to mere mortals require a special touch not provided by writer-director Ip Kam-hung in this cloying embarrassment. Despite attractive leads, this clumsily constructed fantasy won't have much appeal to Western audiences.

Films about angels who come to Earth to bring love and happiness to mere mortals require a special touch not provided by writer-director Ip Kam-hung in this cloying embarrassment. Despite attractive leads, this clumsily constructed fantasy won’t have much appeal to Western audiences.

Beautiful Athena (Kelly Chen), an aroma therapist, has lived a lonely life since her boyfriend, a SWAT team member, died. One night a beautiful angel called, you guessed it, Angel (Takeshi Kaneshiro) crash-lands on her balcony and moves in with her. Angel, who is able to conceal his wings most of the time, eventually is able to give Athena the love she’s been missing, before returning to the heavens. The film tries much too hard to be cute and charming, and even the trick ending doesn’t really pass muster. Special effects are acceptable.

Lavender

Hong Kong

Production

A Golden Harvest release of a United Filmmakers Organization presentation of a GH Pictures production. (International sales: Golden Harvest Entertainment, Hong Kong.) Produced by Chung Chun, Tse Kar-wai. Executive producers, Stephen Chu, David Chan. Directed, written by Ip Kam-hung.

Crew

Camera (color), Kwan Pun-leung; editor, Maurice Li; music, Ronald Ng; production designers, Pun Chi-wai, Wong Bing-yiu; costume designer, Ng Li-lo. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 17, 2001. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Takeshi Kaneshiro, Kelly Chen, Eason Chan.

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