Fat Choi Spirit
Standard: HKD 85
Concessions: HKD 68
Fat Choi Spirit
Mahjong virtuoso Andy has conquered neighbourhoods across Hong Kong with skill and sportsmanship. His ex-girlfriend Gigi, whom he dumped for her ill temper at the mahjong table, goes to great lengths in hopes to rekindle their relationship. Meanwhile, Andy’s brother Louis dislikes mahjong: his brother’s gambling debt ruined the family’s finances years ago. Louis, pragmatic and hardworking, goes bankrupt due to a depressed economy and begrudgingly accepts Andy’s help caring for their ailing mother. When the brothers meet hustler Sean and his accomplice Cherrie, their character and sportsmanship are tested.
Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai co-directed this comedy inspired by Hong Kongers’ tradition of mahjong playing during the Lunar New Year. More than two decades after its release, this holiday classic remains hugely popular thanks to its witty dialogues and timeless insights on top of its zany atmosphere. In 2023, ‘bad hands require more heart and patience’ has another layer of meaning.
About the Directors
Johnnie To (b. 1955, Hong Kong) started his career at Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) before directing feature length films. In 1996, To and Wai Ka-fai founded Milkyway Image, an independent studio known for their contemporary noirs and star-studded comedies. To’s best-known films include The Mission (1999), PTU (2003), Election (2005), Exiled (2006), and Life Without Principle (2011).
Wai Ka-fai (b. 1962, Hong Kong) worked as a screenwriter at TVB in the 1980s. After co-founding Milkway Image with Johnnie To, Wai directed the gangster classic Too Many Ways to Be No. 1 (1997). Wai and To have together directed a number of award-winning box office hits, including Love on a Diet (2001), Fat Choi Spirit (2002), Running on Karma (2003), and Mad Detective (2007).
Image at top: Johnnie To, Wai Ka Fai. Fat Choi Spirit, 2002. Photo: Courtesy of Fortune Star Media Limited