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LOVE AFTER LOVE (2020, CHN) – 6/10

This make-up, costume drama takes us to Hong Kong on the eve of the beginning of World War II and the Japanese occupation. A girl, Ge Wilong, arrived there from Shanghai to study, and instead of sitting in the student desks, she will end up as an assistant to her rich aunt Liang. She is a widow in whose villa the local social elite meets, and her aunt’s main occupation is seducing rich and powerful guys. In this really over-extended drama (almost two and a half hours long), we will eventually find out about the aunt’s background story and how she ended up in Hong Kong after her brother and Ge Wilongin father
chased because she refused the arranged marriage. In the meantime, the aunt has managed well, and the glamor and opulence in which she lives and the attention she receives from everyone will enchant the unsuspecting student.

The young Ge Wilong will be equally bewitched by the young playboy and high-society seducer George, who, instead of breaking women’s hearts, only enjoys provoking his rich father. Of course, falling in love with such a guy will not do this girl any good, and while thematically this slow-moving drama seems a bit like trying to follow films like Frears’ “Dangerous Liaisons”, stylistically and visually Hong Kong veteran Ann Hui seems to have tried to follow her much more famous compatriot Wong- Kar Wai. Of course, “Love After Love” remained far from what Wong was shooting because his style and aesthetics are simply impossible to copy, but that is not the biggest problem of this film. The most problematic are the dynamics, the pace, but also a certain vanity, since everything is quite thin.