Directed By: Lee Chi-Ngai
Written By: Lee Chi-Ngai
Produced by Raymond Chow, Lee Chi-Ngai and Eric Tsang
Cast: Kelly Chen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jordan Chan, Michael Wong, Josie Ho, Cheung Tat-Ming, Moses Chan, Teddy Chan, Maria Cordero, and Henry Fong Ping
Lost and Found( or the title in Chinese literally translated as “the ends of the world) from 1996 is quite the film. It is a simple film that doesn’t opt for a complex story or great action set pieces which are what Hong Kong cinema is famous for. But Lost and Found strives to tell the story of a young woman diagnosed with leukemia and her last important moments in her fleeting life. So, in essence, it is an existential tale but yet is a great love story in the process. Lam the female protagonist of the film crosses path with two interesting men. One a Euro-Asian Scottish sailor named Ted working for her father’s company; another a supposed Mongolian expat named ”Mr. Worm” operating a strange service called the ”Lost and Found”. Both men serve as opportunities for greater meaning in her life as her life becomes ever increasingly fleeting.
A personal destination of Ted called St Kilda, Scotland becomes almost a personal pilgrimage for her. A personal pilgrimage that is most fitting as the place itself is called ”edge of the world” as her world and life draws to a close itself. But it is the journey itself for that pilgrimage that ends up becoming the true pilgrimage itself as her interactions with Mr. Worm shows her the ”sweeter side of life”. Mr. Worm’s Lost and Found is basically more of a humanitarian agency than any sort of business in the strict sense. Mr.Worm’s attempt at making the world around him a better place seems like a fool’s errand but it manages to spark a sense of hope and optimism in Lam. Many of these ”self-contained stories” within Lost and Found tell a story of their own that is is hard hitting and quite emotional. But it does make the core story of the film feels more integrated to the world around it, the later Scottish backdrop almost gives the story a unique motif that seems closely linked to the desires of the characters and an ambiance that makes the themes of the film seems oddly more apparent.
The main conflict of the film might fall a bit too much on the clichéd side for some, but the love story within it is subtle enough to feel realistic and not in any way too sentimental that it feels too ”cheesy” or forced. All of the characters are whimsical and vulnerable enough to be likable and endearing in their own way, but of course, Mr. Worm takes the cake on this aspect. Although the movie ends on a somber note, it does drive home a hopeful message that asks us to live life to the fullest at all moments.
PS: I actually saw this movie twice. Once a few years ago and now at the start of 2017. I am the only person who is writing a review of this film in IMDb in over 10 years it seems like. Hopefully, my review does in some sort of way do something to raise awareness for the film in some fashion.
I originally wrote this on IDMB at the start of 2017 but now I’m moving it to my blog.