Lee Chi Lok is a withdrawn young man from Hong Kong who is incredibly lonely and alienated, and it seems that happiness will smile on him when he helps a girl who has a psychotic episode on the street. It turns out that a girl named Yan Yan lives in the same apartment block as him and that her alcoholic father abuses her. Lee Chi Lok will try to protect the girl he fell in love with, but after the old man slaps him properly when he realizes what’s going on, only then will we actually see what’s going on. Lok is actually a paranoid schizophrenic whose health has seemingly improved in recent months, but it was all an illusion because we will soon realize that the Yan Yan he fell in love with is fictional. None of what happened was real and it was all actually happening in his tortured head, and six months later a new surprise will arrive as we will realize that a girl who looks identical to his Yan Yan exists.
It’s just that her name is only Yan, she doesn’t live in his building in the apartment with her father, but she is a young psychiatrist in whose experimental program Lok started. This mysterious romantic drama was shot by Hong Kong filmmaker Kiw Chow based on his own award-winning short film “Upstairs”, and although “Beyond the Dream” is a film that deals with mental illness in an inclusive and problematic way, it was below expectations. Everything here was quite strange and confusing, and my standard problem with East Asian films certainly contributed to that, because almost all of these people look very similar to me. So I only subsequently connected that Yan and Yan Yan are really the same person embodied by the same actress, not some two very similar young ladies from Hong Kong.
Although there are a lot of surprises, not only with the main character or mentally ill young man who is fighting with himself and his own demons, but also with the world around him. Quite a surprise is the motivation of a young psychiatrist who will really get in touch with her patient, and although “Beyond the Dream” offers a humanistic, not manipulative approach to dealing with mental illness, I find this whole story quite vague, chaotic and quite confusing. At some point we will realize that Lee Chi Lok is in doubt about which girl to choose – a real person or psychiatrist who has some feelings for him and who wants to help him and get him out of the complete chaos he created in his head. Or the fictional girl he created in his head according to the character of the same psychiatrist and who doesn’t really exist and who pushes him towards complete madness. Rating 6.5 / 10.
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