Roads are a great metaphor for life. Sometimes life is like a motorway, it’s smooth and it takes you to a desired destination quickly and easily. But a narrow road might make life feel constrained and bumpy. I feel a narrow road is a better description of what life is really like and I feel it’s why I gravitated towards the film in the way I did. Taking place in 2020, the film follows business owner Chak, struggling to keep his cleaning company afloat due to the effects of the pandemic. Then one day he meets Candy who needs a job to help both herself and her daughter Chu. The Narrow Road is truly one of the most authentic films I have seen in a long time. The story which takes place during one of the darkest times humanity has faced, in a city which before the pandemic was dealing with huge political unrest still manages to have at its centre a film about hope. It’s about hope for the future and how we can change the course of our lives in meaningful ways.
We see how Hong Kong has changed because of the pandemic and how that in turn changes the people who live there. Seeing small family businesses with closure signs over them, to play parks covered in tape to ensure kids don’t play on them. The scene setting is nothing short of haunting and beautiful. It’s a combination which sounds like it shouldn’t work but it simply does. The way the city is shot is a feast for the eyes and the soundtrack accompanies the visuals in mesmerising ways. The film’s biggest strength though is its acting Louis Cheung and Angela Yuen as Chak and Candy respectively are nothing short of incredible and their performances are eloquent and captivating. Their characters feel like real people you could meet where you live. I would also be lying if I said that On Na Tong who played Chu wasn’t simply a delight as well. All this I feel wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Lam Sum’s excellent direction, he does such an incredible job telling this story that I feel it couldn’t be better portrayed in any other way. The Narrow Road captures life in an indescribable way, it Is a film that is simply superb and one of the best films of 2023.
In Cinemas March 3rd
Coming Soon Interview with Director Lam Sum