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Twilight’s Kiss, Being Old & Gay



Twilight’s Kiss, Being Old & Gay 4

Twilight’s Kiss(Original Title Suk Suk, in Cantonese)

Starring  Tai Bo as Pak,Ben Yuen as Hoi

Directed  by  Ray Yeung

Rating: ** ½ 

This  much talked-about film promises  a lot more than it delivers.To begin with, the theme  of two  elderly men coming out of the closet  in  their twilight years , is  emboldened  by  the director’s firm  resolve to see the  unconventional relationship to its logical end. However  in a  classic  interpretation of  the flesh being strong but the spirit  being weak, the  narrative, so audacious  and elegant  to  begin with, ends off in  whimper wintry  send-off that  leaves  the relationship  dangling  in midair.

Nonetheless   it is laudable  while it lasts. Most of the mainstream gay films have  uncommonly good-looking protagonists(e.g  Armie Hammer and  Timothee Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name,Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite). In  Twiligh’s Kiss /Suk Suk(which means Uncle Uncle) the two protagonists are what  they are: two  old men belatedly discovering the pleasures of homosexuality. 

 Considering their  age  their coming out may not only seem delayed but also  unnecessary and irrelevant to us. Not to them, though.  To  mutually discover  a secret world that they have denied themselves  all their lives is a ritual like the secret unlocking of the door  to the  magical room . Pak, a 70-year old  taxidriver  with a  large  family ,and  Hoi, a retired  family-less loner plunge deep  into their joyful  exploration .

There are scenes  of the two  enjoying more than  just each other’s company in parks  and  in sauna baths(apparently the latter is a favourite homosexual haunt in Hong Kong). Through  all the  journey that  Pak and Hoi undertake  director Ray Yeung furnishes their relationship with wonderment  and  tragedy.You wish this had happened  to Pak and Hoi at least 20 years earlier, if not together than separately.  You wish  that these  over-the-hill lovers would just stop.Self-fulfilment  specially of the kind that would shatter families doesn’t seem right  .It’s  like masturbation at 70.

Perhaps this  distant revulsion that we feel watching  Pak and Hoi’s  togetherness  is what the film wants us to  set aside.  For a  brief while, we do. But eventually we are happy to see this wrinkled love story fade away. For all  its  guts  and grit, not to mention some compelling  acting by  the two leads specially Tai Bo,  Twilight’s Kiss doesn’t quite  make out a convincing case  for two men making out at  a time when they ought to  be preparing for  another world.

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