安非他命 2010

And their eyes met. Daniel meets Kafka for the first time

Synopsis from Wikipedia -

Kafka is straight while Daniel happens to be gay. The young men fall in love, believing that their love can bridge anything, despite their difference in sexuality and Kafka's drug-taking. Daniel does not regret his love for Kafka, who tries to love him back against his nature. But a flashback memory from Kafka's past makes it difficult for their relationship to work. It turns out that their addiction to love proves more fatal than the drugs they use to explore the boundaries of their friendship.

The film stars Hong Kong Chinese actor and former model Byron Pang (Cantonese: Pang Koon-Kei), who was a runner-up contestant for Mr. Hong Kong in 2005, and Thomas Price, a half Chinese-half British actor who appeared in Permanent Residence and City Without Baseball. Like Scud's previous films, Permanent Residence (made in 2009) and the earlier City Without Baseball (2008), Amphetamine features full-frontal male nudity in many scenes, in among others, an outdoor fight scene in which Pang is stripped naked by other boys, gym showers, and a leap from a public building, in which Pang wears 'wings', and his whole body is covered in calligraphy and silver paint.

Amphetamine examines the limit of passion, and is the second of a trilogy: the first, called Permanent Residence, examines the limit of life, while the third, known as Life of an Artist, examines the limits of art. Amphetamine was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival on 15 February 2010, and was also shown at the Hong Kong International Film Festival on its final day (6 April 2010). The third film has not yet been released.

When I saw the promo posters and the trailer, I told myself this is a must watch for me. Good looking guys plus the promo posters alluded that there are going to be plenty of nudity. Let's hope the story is good. Well it did not disappoint in terms of the good looking guys and the nudity. Amphetamine started off well enough. The way it sets the scene with the two main character's lives in Hong Kong is interesting.

The film delivering a compelling if somewhat uneven journey through one man's personal pain. Kafka, who by fate catches Daniel's attention when the two met at a coffeeshop. Daniel is immediately attracted to Kafka and shows it, while Kafka holds back. That's because Kafka is straight - perhaps.

But Daniel sways him, first through his ardent desire and then through understanding and care. Kafka needs more than attention, he needs love and hope, and that's because he's a drug addict, a manic-depressive, and a survivor of some awful horrors. Unfortunately, he may be too much of a mess for Daniel to fully save, and even Daniel is fully aware that if Kafka is to be helped, Kafka will have to do it himself.

But it drags on waaaaay too much and is a too abstract in some places. The edits and flashbacks are confusing. The director needs to be more disciple.

My other complaint is probably the 2 leads. Their acting is a bit stilted at times especially their intimate scenes.Whether these actors are gay or not is beside the point; what they are unable to do is act like a couple in love. It is one thing to portray an awkward relationship, it is another thing to watch two men touching each other with such obvious restraint.

To be frank, you could see the potential that this film has if it was handled properly. The film possess a loaded script but only some of the potential was showing, the rest got lost in transit.

To watch Amphetamine, click here.