By Stina Chyn | June 14, 2005

Jack Chen (John Woo Taak Kwon), the main character in “Blue Fire” (Chia Hui Gao, 2002), is depressed—suicide ideation depressed because his ex-girlfriend Jenny is married. To help get his mind off of its source of melancholia, Jack’s mother sends him to live with his uncle (Jackson Ning) in New York City. When he’s not working at his uncle’s store, Jack is pining for Jenny and having heated conversations—and sometimes topless interactions—with his housemate Lana (Victoria Linchon). Adapted by the director from a story by Monica Liu, “Blue Fire” cracks a window into the lives and dispositions of three people of varying beliefs and behaviors. If it is Gao’s intention to explore the mindset of a young man unable to put his broken heart behind him, the director puts his film on the right track but doesn’t quite reach the finish line. Though over-sexed Lana is a contrast to Jenny (or the idea of Jenny as created by Jack’s inner monologues about her), without solid viewer identification or even pity, whatever significance the juxtaposition holds inevitably loses meaning. What remains are a few days in the lives of NYC inhabitants doing whatever gets them through to the next day; and there is little need to watch other people sort out their existence when we could just ask ourselves why we get out of bed every morning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon