Luk Yee-sum's LAZY HAZY CRAZY
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
I typically don't watch "coming of age" movies but this 2015 movie is unusual.
It takes place in modern day Hong Kong and is beautifully photographed and scored. It tells the story of three 18 year old girls who spend the summer together following school. They do ordinary things -- argue, pursue boys, share deep conversations about life, battle with caregivers, argue about taking out the dog, are jealous, complain about racial discrimination, ruminate about missing parents, worry about money, etc., etc.
The twist is that all three are part time prostitutes who advertise their services via social media.
They careen back and forth between seemingly normal day to day angst and turning tricks. The movie is supposedly "based on true events." Who knows how seriously to take such a statement.
What's so unusual is how natural the three girls are and how frank they are about sex and what they do to earn money. If you look at this from a parent's perspective you'll naturally be horrified given the dangers the girls are exposing themselves to. While some scenes involving nudity are of the harmless softcore variety, others are surprisingly explicit. Yet, the movie has a veneer of reality that comes from natural acting and possibly because the director is female and may have some personal insight into what the girls are going through as she attempts -- often successfully -- to shock the viewer.
Anyway, this movie is not for everyone. Some of the situations are outlandish. Men definitely do not generally come across as alway being trustworthy. The girls seem to know that or at least learn along the way. While they seem at times to be wise beyond their years, though, you can be forgiven if you want to occasionally yell at the screen and say, "Don't do that!"
Review copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald. Oddly, I discovered this film last week on Amazon Prime while searching for "Hong Kong movies." Just now when I checked the details of the film the Amazon Prime that web site notes "This title is currently unavailable. Our agreements with the content provider don’t allow purchases of this title at this time."