Frugal Game

Frugal Game screencap

I rediscovered an old favourite Hong Kong film of mine yesterday while searching through our collection of VCDs. I'd always wanted to watch this again, yet clearly I hadn't checked our collection properly the many times I looked through it to try and locate the film again. Imagine my surprise when I unearthed it from the back of the cupboard along with some other comedic classics — more on that in a later post.

Frugal Game is a strange film as most films go, yet at the same time the cast makes you sit and stay through your (my) exasperation because of both their comedic charm, their ingenious solutions to their money woes as well as the way they are able to also approach serious situations. Nothing less from a team working with Miriam Yeung, yet while she usually acts the silly airhead and this roles is in some ways not that much different, there's a steel to her in this one.

Eric Tsang usually also ends up playing roles such as Triad bosses and the like, so it's a treat to see him play a devoted family man. Whereas Eason Chan was relatable, with his dreams of shooting martial arts dramas, but stuck in a game show position he was not interested in.

Interestingly, I only realised yesterday that Carol 'Do Do' Cheng of Her Fatal Ways fame (to me) is in this film! She's older, thinner and dressed very differently of course, which is why I failed to recognise her, however her mannerisms have not changed one bit — direct, harsh, cutting, with that tine drop of cluelessness.

It's nice to watch these old Hong Kong films and recognise some of your fondest actors again and again. Unfortunately the Hong Kong film landscape is pretty small, you'll come across the same characters again and again if you're interested in a genre (like comedy, for example). They'll even appear in TV dramas and appear again and again. But that's not always necessarily a bad thing.

Image from Far East Film.