A message for teens
After the absurd See You in You Tube - a portrait of a young generation that dares for the sake of daring - in Trick or Cheat, producer-director Oxide Pang Chun (of the Pang brothers) and his six apprentice directors tell us there is actually a price to pay for recklessness.
Fifth-former Gem (Gem Tang Zhi-kei) and William (William Chan Wai-ting) are the top students at school. They are helped by the fact that their fellow classmates have performed badly in mock examinations due to spending too much time preparing for the graduation show. The principal threatens to cancel the show altogether unless the whole class gets good grades in the upcoming public exams. Gem and William have to tutor the others.
But time is too short for William and Gem to get the distracted students back to studying, not to mention scoring As. They have no choice but to teach them to cheat.
Predictably, the movie features a wide variety of cheating techniques - from old-fashioned invisible ink and Morse code to hi-tech signalling watches. But what truly surprises is the creatively absurd lengths the desperate students go to in order to get good results: even the supernatural is pursued. The inevitable consequences - getting caught and risking disqualification - hang in the background.
At the heart of this movie is a cliche - cheating gets you know nowhere. But along the way, the film makes fun of Hong Kong's rigid education system and the tutoring craze.
Eighteen-year-old singing sensation Gem Tang may have an amazing voice, but with no prior acting experience (other than a cameo appearance in Love Connected) skeptics have questioned her move to the silver screen. William Chan's acting record has been little more than lacklustre.
Yet, even if the newcomers cannot prove the doubters wrong in Trick, audiences can at least look forward to seeing them show off their singing and dancing skills.
Trick or Cheat opens tomorrow
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