Friday, November 27, 2015

A Better Tomorrow (1986)

It's not easy for someone with a dark past to live a new life. People will judge with prejudice. It's even harder if your own brother cannot believe you have changed.

Ti Lung played Ho. He worked for a big money counterfeiter in Hong Kong. Chow Yun-fat played Mark, his best friend. Ho and Mark usually worked together. Ho had a sick father and a younger brother, Kit, who later would become a police inspector. Kit couldn't get promotion because his brother was a criminal.

L-R: The boss, Ho, Mark, Shing
While delivering a suitcase of counterfeit money in Taiwan, Ho was accompanied by Shing, who betrayed him. Ho was arrested by the local authorities and spent three years in jail in Taiwan. Mark killed one of the people who had betrayed Ho and because of the shoot-out, he became limp. Ho's father was also killed by a Triad member.

Three years later, Ho returned to Hong Kong. Kit was bitter because of his father's death and could not receive and forgive Ho. Kit spent his days following Shing, who had replaced Ho's position as the Big Brother. Meanwhile, Ho determined to live his new life in an honest way and became a taxi driver.

Ho, Kit and Jackie (Kit's girlfriend)
Both Kit and Jackie are clumsy
I think Ti Lung gave a good performance as an ex Triad member who wanted to earn his bread honestly. He shallowed his pain when his brother turned him down. Kit was still his brother, though, and when Kit was in danger, he did not hesitate to protect him. There was no doubt about Chow Yun-fat's performance, because he even won the Best Actor Award for his work here. With his tall features, dark trench-coat and Alain Delon sunglasses; he looked perfect as a hitman [in contrary, I always dislike how he looked in traditional costumes when he played in martial arts films]. When he talked about being forced to drink urine at gunpoint, it sounded real, because he really spoke from experience. However, my favourite scene was when Ho saw him again after three years. Mark - in rags - walked with difficulty towards Shing's parked car to clean its windshield. Ho [and I] was shocked to see Mark like this. Shing threw money to the ground for him. Compared that to the scene in the beginning, when Mark gave money to a subordinate. He did not threw the money to the ground, but gave it into his hand.

It's Lesley Cheung who was the weakest among the three leads. With a sick father, I believe it was Ho's illicit money who paid for his training in police academy. Kit must be very narrow minded, stubborn and bitter, if he hated Ho blindly. There are people who always see the best in others and there are people who always see the worst.

Kit brings someone's trash into his own kitchen to search for a clue.
Why he didn't do it outside? The house has a yard.
The theme song by Joseph Koo was beautiful. It was sung by Lesley Cheung. Lesley Cheung's was one of the most beautiful male singing voices I've ever heard.

But everytime I read this movie's title, the first thing comes into my mind is a song sung by a children choir (also in this movie) titled 'Tomorrow Will Be Better'. Back in high school, I asked my friends to write one of their favorite songs's lyrics in my book. [Actually I wanted to collect their handwritings, because I think, handwritings portray who you are.] One of them wrote this song's English lyrics:

When you wake up in the morning
When you haven't started to think
There is a whole brand new day
Open wide and waiting for you
I know in life's sorrow,
you're on the verge of drowning
May your tears flee with yesterday
blown away with the wind

It's a very inspirational song, like the song Tomorrow from Annie or You'll Never Walk Alone from Carousel.

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