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The Matrimony (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD

Leon Lai (Actor) | Rene Liu (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Zheng Yu Zhi
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The Matrimony (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.7 out of 10 (3)

YesAsia Editorial Description

The Matrimony, a thrilling film mixing romance and horror, stars Hong Kong top singer Leon Lai (Three), charismatic actress Rene Liu (Happy Birthday) from Taiwan, and Mainland Chinese beauty Fan Bingbing (A Battle of Wits). The third feature film by new generation director Teng Huatao, The Matrimony unfolds an eerie love story set in 1930s Shanghai. Rich young man Junchu (Leon Lai) cannot pluck up his courage to propose to his broadcaster girlfriend Manli (Fan Bingbing), who dies in a traffic accident before becoming his wife. In deep regret, Junchu locks himself up in his creepy old mansion. His mother marries him to a young woman Sansan (Rene Liu), hoping to alleviate his grief but with little success. To their surprise, Manli's ghost still lingers in the house, and even possesses Sansan's body in order to have a taste of being Junchu's wife...
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Technical Information

Product Title: The Matrimony (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) 心中有鬼 (VCD) (香港版) 心中有鬼 (VCD) (香港版) 心中有鬼 (VCD) (香港版) The Matrimony (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Leon Lai (Actor) | Rene Liu (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Zheng Yu Zhi | Xu Song Zi | Zhang Zi Qi 黎明 (Actor) | 劉若英 (Actor) | 范冰冰 (Actor) | 鄭毓芝 | 徐松子 | 張子祺 黎明 (Actor) | 刘若英 (Actor) | 范冰冰 (Actor) | 郑毓芝 | 徐松子 | 张子祺 黎明(レオン・ライ) (Actor) | 劉若英(レネ・リウ) (Actor) | 范冰冰 (ファン・ビンビン) (Actor) | Zheng Yu Zhi | Xu Song Zi | Zhang Zi Qi Leon Lai (Actor) | Rene Liu (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Zheng Yu Zhi | Xu Song Zi | Zhang Zi Qi
Director: Teng Hua Tao 滕華濤 滕华涛 滕華濤(テン・ホァタオ) Teng Hua Tao
Release Date: 2007-07-27
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Disc Format(s): VCD
Rating: IIA
Duration: 91 (mins)
Publisher: Mei Ah (HK)
Other Information: 2VCDs
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004930820

Product Information

導演︰滕華濤
Director: Teng Hua Tao

君初和曼麗已論婚嫁,卻因為一場車禍,天人永隔;君初看著未婚妻死去,手裡的求婚戒指無聲落地……

君初整個人崩潰,整日關在陰森幽闊的老宅子裡回想從前。母親擔心兒子一蹶不振,半哄半騙逼他和三三辦了婚事,盼望能藉此跳脫思念之若。君初對三三更視若無睹。

這棟身處竹海的老宅子,總在出人不意時,傳來細碎的低語,莫名的噪音,甚至,慘澹的魅影……

住在宅內的曼麗鬼魂仍然希望有一天能夠借屍還魂,誘導三三同意讓她「上身」來博取君初好感 …

Jun Chu and Man Li are planning to get married. Unfortunately, an accident caused them apart. Jun Chu starts to fall into depression because of what had happened. He hides himself in the old house and refuses to forget his past. His mother persuades him to get married with San San so that he can forget the past. Unexpectedly, Jun Chu becomes more upset afterwards. Apart from that, there are always strange noises coming from the old house and sometimes even the spirits can be seen wandering around it. Although it is disturbing, San San is willing to tolerate all this. She has admired Jun Chu since she was young, she never thought that she would become his wife, therefore she is really thankful with this given fate. Although Jun Chu didn't treat her well, she still loves him. She really hopes that one day Jun Chu will call her as "Wife".

Since he couldn't forget his past after so long, Jun Chu falls sick and he is on the verge of dying. Although Jun Chu is sick, he keeps calling Man Li's name. Seeing him suffering, San San decides to find Man Li and she runs back towards the old house. With tears, she shouts for Man Li to show up. She promised that she will do anything as long as Jun Chu can be saved.

Both San San and Man Li love Jun Chu. In order to save the life of their beloved, they help each other out. San San allowed Man Li to posses her. Thus, later on, Man Li could pay a visit to Jun Chu in the hospital...

Jun Chu is recovering and he slowly has feeling for San San. He is willing to forget the past and he wants to build a new life with San San. Man Li starts to envy them and becomes angry. She turns into an evil spirit and caused Jun Chu's mom to be crazy. She also wants to take her beloved Jun Chu away together with her...
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Awards

This film has won 2 award(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "The Matrimony (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

July 17, 2007

This professional review refers to The Matrimony (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
The Matrimony is one pretty film. This pseudo-supernatural Mainland drama features gorgeous art direction and costume design, and possesses many scenes that are staged far more beautifully than they really have to be. Cinematographer Mark Lee's work here is exemplary, and the score, bar a few loud shock notes, is evocative of the period and the genre. The movie itself isn't too bad either, though it's far outpaced by the film's technical achievements. You can't win them all.

Leon Lai is Junchun, a cinematographer in 1930s China who gets dealt a bad romantic hand. In the film's opening moments, Junchun's girlfriend Manli (the gorgeous and ubiquitous Fan Bing-Bing) gets clocked by a speeding car in a display of distracting fake CGI. She dies in his arms, turning him into a sullen, sometimes depressed individual. Fast-forward one year and he's entered into a marriage of convenience with Sansan (Rene Liu) a shy girl who hails from a family of needlework laborers. Sansan wishes to become closer to Junchun, but he won't have it. Obviously still attached to Man Li, he treats Sansan rudely and shuts her out of his bedroom, and pretty much his life.

Sansan finds an ally in her quest to grow closer to Junchun - and it just so happens to be Manli. Her red-garbed spectre haunts their household, seemingly attached to her various former belongings, which Junchun keeps locked up in a room like some museum of lost love. Manli is a seemingly benevolent and kind ghost, who's heartbroken by Junchun's continued mourning. Her plan to rectify this involves possessing Sansan on occasion to attract Junchun's attention, plus giving Sansan tips on worming her way into Junchun's heart. Meanwhile, Sansan wonders if Junchun and Manli ever slept together. Cue ghost-human slumber party and catty female bonding sequences.

Unfortunately, there's no pajama party for the girls here. Though the above description makes the film sound like it could be a supernatural female bonding flick, The Matrimony is far too elegant and austere to be that touchy-feely. The film possesses supreme artifice, including wonderful settings and cinematography that are opulent without being egregious. The actresses carry the film quite well, bringing subdued, felt emotion to their opposing roles. Yes, they're opposing roles. Despite the girls acting like fast friends once the initial "but you're a ghost" introduction is out of the way, The Matrimony isn't some syrupy tale of female friendship across metaphysical borders. As the movie is quick to point out, ghosts are inherently bad - and Fan Bing-Bing's all-red outfit should be a massive clue for anyone who's seen an Asian horror film before. Sooner or later, Manli stops acting ultra-friendly, which means it's time for ghost-battling religious rites and even more spooky shock scares. Can Junchu break out of his Leon Lai-induced coma to ride to the rescue?

Mainland China is notorious for disallowing films with superstitious or supernatural content, even going so far as to ban them from distribution. The Matrimony seems to get around that by placing the film in the past (i.e. before the Cultural Revolution) and adding an epilogue that further distances the film's supernatural-themed narrative from the audience. What they do to make things China-friendly doesn't really hurt or help the film, but the extra story padding is questionable in its necessity. The film itself doesn't feel necessary either, as its story fails to resonate, despite spending lots of time attempting to do so with themes of commitment, unrequited love, and more. The female characters are decently developed, but Junchu is basically a male flower vase and Leon Lai really doesn't make much of an impact in the role. For all its emotional themes, The Matrimony is short on passion.

Still, the film is quite well made, and manages to deliver on its routine storyline in a fairly efficient manner. Director Teng Hua-Tao (Sky of Love) provides some decent tension, and Mark Lee's camerawork is excellent. Overall this feels like a quality production - which is why it also disappoints. When you put together these people (the cast and crew include many award-winners), one would hope for more than just a a pretty exercise in routine commercial artifice. Mainland China actually has the potential to produce more intriguing ghost movies, if they managed to use the country's history or culture to provide some uniqueness not seen elsewhere. Nowadays, ghost movies are so overdone that you need something - anything - to make each new film appear at least different from the umpteen films that preceded it. The filmmakers give it a good try, but The Matrimony only succeeds at being prettier and more elegant, and not scarier or better than your standard ghost film.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "The Matrimony (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.7 out of 10 (3)

cuddley bear
See all my reviews


August 20, 2007

This customer review refers to The Matrimony (VCD) (China Version)
very disappointing Customer Review Rated Bad 4 - 4 out of 10
I almost gave up after watching the first hour but the second half actually lightens up a little. The film could have ended when Sansan died but instead, dragged on to give a very unsatisfactory, useless, 'don't know why' ending.
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numinair
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August 10, 2007

This customer review refers to The Matrimony (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Ghosts in Exquisite Rooms Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
If ever you wanted to see an exquisite and ornate ghost movie, I think you will find your revelation here in "The Matrimony". This is probably one of the most gorgeously decorative films I have seen and within such a lushly detailed 1930s Shanghai period setting. Shen Junchu's (Leon Lai) family mansion is so enchantingly lit by soft and vivid golden copper color hues and deep blue lighting and with the richly ornate ceiling shots of Sansan's bed room it all makes for a beautifully haunting film. Character dress is complimentary with period finery and fashionable flapper bob hair for Manli. Although this sounds more like a period drama (and it is at the beginning), the film does quickly move towards the supernatural atmosphere you would expect; Gothic mansion and crawling bats with grim sky backdrops, scary jumps and creepy music (you will certainly get into the groove right from the opening credits). But its not overplayed (cliches are once only in the main) or leaning towards a ringu overdose of white faced girls and long black hair (Manli's ghost has a bobbed hair style in this...so maybe a new trend at last!). Although the cliches are here, its more within a Chinese folk tale ambiance.

Although about ghost haunting and possession, this is essentially a tragic love story due to the fatalistic death of Manli by a car accident (and screamingly over the top CGI here!) and of her haunting love for Junchu, who she was finally to marry on that fatal day she died (Junchu couldn't make up his mind whether to marry her - all obliquely told as an intro by Manli herself at a radio station) and a year on at Junchu's family mansion, Manli's spectral format attempts to reach him through his present wife Sansan by possessing her. Junchu is blindly in love with Manli and pays little interest in his new wife by arranged marriage. One interesting (ghostly) aspect I found in this is the communique between Manli's ghost and the forlorn Sansan, as although you do get the unusual blue lit feet-descending-into-view first floating ghost and misty smoked apparition, Manli's spectral conversations in the main with Sansan are more natural and played down and she looks mostly as she did before she died (in a vamp red dress) - and by their friendliness, you could almost imagine these two women chatting about the latest fashion and eateries on the outset, but as the truer nature of Manli is revealed and her nasty objective to possess the body of Sansan so as to physically reach Junchu, you begin to get slabs of ringu vehemence by Manli's nastier side. But as mentioned, this isn't the usual Grudge or Korean horror, but more a muted periodic ghost tale. It gets more grisly at the end however.

Acting is all excellent, but due to the less richly detailed story telling has limited scope, but Rene Lui as Sansan is the centered character here and one skillful actress (cannot wait to see her now in "Kidnap" with fav of mine Karena Lam). In fact Rene looks so haunting herself in a Zhang Ziyi sort of way as Sansan, you could well imagine her performing a very errie ghost herself. Both Leon Lai and Fan Bingbing's characters are also well played, but do have limited pallets to flesh out the characters. It all a very interesting film and I read that director Teng Huatao also made a re-make of the Korean drama "Ditto" before this. The technical artistry to this film with the 1930's period props are like the needle work of Sansan (she is a seamstress) - so richly detailed. Its mansion settings are like a very expensive chocolate box. If you're going to be a ghost in the house, this is the place to be. The ending is a bit of a twister regarding the opener to the film (I won't say how or why), but I had also read it was due to the Chinese aspect of playing down the supernatural movie element. I guess, though, that to underplay the supernatural and to dampen its effect - maybe some false comic chattering teeth at the closing credits to satirize it all. Yeah, maybe not, but nevertheless do give this movie a try as its a bit different to the usual Asia ghost flicks and if you like more subtler horrors this is a definite. No extra footage on this edition though.
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Jenny
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April 9, 2007

This customer review refers to The Matrimony (VCD) (China Version)
Not bad... Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Definitely worth buying. It's so cheap anyway! The storyline isn't all that great, which is a bit of a waste bc all 3 leads do so so well. I've repeated it a few times now, I love tragic movies...!
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