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A low-level hoodlum on the bloody streets of Hong Kong’s notorious Mong Kok district must choose between a woman’s love and fealty to his hotheaded blood brother in Wong Kar Wai’s feature debut, which provided enough fistfights and street battles to please audiences while debuting the mood-drenched atmospherics and unabashed romanticism that would define his career. Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung (in a role she credits as making audiences aware of her dramatic potential), and Jacky Cheung star in this triad opera, “a tragic study of little people in a big city” as Wong himself described it, filmed furtively amidst Mong Kok’s “life in the raw.”

—Jason Sanders

  • Year
  • Runtime
    102 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    Hong Kong
  • Director
    Wong Kar Wai
  • Screenwriter
    Jeffrey Lau, Wong Kar Wai
  • Cast
    Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Alex Man
  • Cinematographer
    Andrew Lau