Silent Love: ”Together with you, needing you every moment. You’re like air and sunshine to me. With you around, life is better.”

Year: 1986
Directed by David Chiang
Produced by Sammo Hung

Written by Siu Gwok Wa and Ivy Ho Sai Hong
Cast: Jing Chen, Roy Cheung, Hon-Cheung Chui, Fan Siu-Wong, Lau Ching-Wan, Ching-Lung Lau, Season Ma, and Ronald Wong

A young man recently released from prison comes across a group of skillful mute pickpockets. They all become quick friends and this friendship changes all of their lives forever.

Silent Love is one of the earliest films of the widely successful Hong Kong actor: Sean Lau. Sean makes a great cinematic entrance all dressed in some awkward 70s fashion. That isn’t just a punchline but how out of touch with the times his prison sentence has forced him to be. Silent Love has the outward signs of the typical Hong Kong dumb action comedy of the time even beneath this rough exterior.Silent Love exerts a strong commentary about the brutal reality of Hong Kong’s socio-economic realities for the downtrodden. While Silent Love is far from the best example of films with similar efforts, there is still a heartfelt sentimentality in Silent Love’s effort. Strong performances from the cast and the great dexterity displayed at conveying the sign language lend a strong authenticity. You’ll never doubt that these guys aren’t bona fide mutes. Season Ma as Heung Gite shines as the maternal leader of the group and Sean Lau’s role as Kelly Mak anticipates the greater dramatic roles he would play in the future a bit.

Silent Love is unabashedly crude. It is that same rawness at depicting delinquency that makes it unceremoniously truthful. The criminal life is never the easy life. Despite their great skill at pickpocketing, the danger is always constant. The life of a pickpocket is not sustainable. Kelly enters the narrative to be the great moralizer. That trait of his takes on a thematic purpose by the end as Heung Gite parallels Kelly’s former life.

Silent Love isn’t mute on high emotions and tenderness in a world of general crudeness. Amateurish and probably made on the fly, Silent Love is still resilient and sly enough to pickpocket some sympathy from its viewers.

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