Elisa's Day 2021
Ronald Cheng was instrumental in making this Alan Fung-directed debut feature work: Not only did he give up his pay, he also delivered the most personal and emotion-stirring performance in his comedy-led career. In this heart-wrenching drama, Cheng plays Sergeant Fai who is torn between two cases 20 years apart complicated by a wrong decision that resulted in irreversible circumstances, afflicting him with poignant memories. Tormented between remorse and regret in search of redemption and salvation, Fai's helplessness and inner struggle linger from start to finish and can be strongly felt from Cheng's powerful performance. Fung employs both reverse and chronological sequences for narratives of intertwining events that cross paths to great effect and drama, thanks to solid performances from the doomed couple Hanna Chan and Tony Wu as well as Carol To who plays the orphan. Tats Lau's sparse piano score only adds the extra bitterness and sophistication to this already bleak drama. The film's melancholic ambience, centring on the sorrowful theme of the youngsters being abandoned, is conquered by an overall positive faith evident from a line from Cheng’s character, "We can't give up on the young anymore," for which most Hongkongers these days must have a deep empathy.