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Fagara Movie Review: It Is A Formula Family Film With Lots Of Emotions



Fagara Movie Review: It Is A Formula Family Film With Lots Of Emotions 13

Fagara(Hong Kong in Chinese)

Starring  Sammi Cheng as Acacia, Megan Lai as Branch, Li Xiaofeng as Cherry

Directed  by Heiward Mark

Rating: ** ½

This Hong Kong production has become  quite a rage  outside its home domain  mainly because the characters are culture-blind. Though they are purely Oriental in looks and language with plenty of chinks in their armours  the three sisters Acacia(Sammi Cheng) , Branch(Megan Lai) and  Cherry(Li Xiaofeng)  are bonded  by  their shared desire to find  solace in their  stubborn sisterhood.

 The three girls,  products of different  mothers grow up  in  different countries but are reunited when their charismatic  father passes away.  Curiously a quasi-feminist  feelgood film like Fagara  seems  eager to  forgive a  man for  three  lives and wives  and hence  the rootcause  of  the  sense of father-less diaspora that  our heroines  endure.

Among the three sisters the  plot chooses Acacia as  the  main  protagonist. As she  speaks to those who knew her father well specially a genial  doctor at  the hospital where  he spent his last  days, Acacia  begins to be  be drawn close to the father she grew up hating. The  other two sisters, one  a poolplayer with Mom issues the  other  a punky spunky blogger with Grandmom issues,   come together with Acacia to  salvage the restaurant that their  father ran.

 This is  as  predictable  as  it can get.As  I  write about the  film I am hit again by its  palpable pedestrian ism  and  a chick plot that spares us none of  stereotypes and clichés of the  genre   including of course a big sisters-getting-sloshed scene in  the middle of the  night  , and a Papa-we-forgive-you shout-out at the end.

The  performances  that  ought to propel  the plot forward  are  largely  unremarkable, except for Wa Yanshu as  the grandmother and  Richie Jen as  the  doctor (who before the End  cures  our sullen heroine Acacia  of her men-oh-pause) who succeed in   showing more sparkle than the  story   generates.

Fagara  is  purely a plot that  moves  by numbers.  It packs in everything one expects in a film about three estranged sisters except dramatic tension. When the sisters meet they are immediately  bantering and  backchatting as if being sired by  an  over-fertile father in  three different  households is  just an incidental snag  quickly  forgotten and  miraculously healed. So shall we kick up a fun storm?

Fagara is  fun for these times when dark horror films insist  on  breaking into our homes when all we want is  comfort food for the soul.

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