小猴 发表于 2012-10-14 03:14:33

Point of No Return

<p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="3">T<font size="4">he following is written to celebrate Mr. Damian Lau Chung Yan's birthday. Happy birthday Chunggor!</font></font></p><p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="3"><br></font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="3"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size="4"> Point of No Return</font></i><font size="4">,
the title of the 2003 drama series from TVB, well summarizes the fates of many
characters that Damian Lau has created throughout his remarkable acting career.
It also echoes Lau’s comment on his career in an interview: “To be in the
acting business is the biggest tragedy in my life.” <span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span><span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>As one
of the most versatile TV actors of his generation, Damian Lau is well known by
the Chinese speaking populations for his brilliant portrayals of countless classical
characters in both drama and comedy for the last four decades. He belongs to
the classical generation or the Gold Age of Hong Kong entertainment industry and
has never ceased fascinating the audience with his outstanding performances.
Now it is the time of his birthday, let me reexamine some of Lau’s characters
that illustrate the theme of point-of-no-return. <br></font></font></p><p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="3"><font size="4"><br></font></font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Chow Ming Hin (Zhou Mingxuan), the central character of the
first half of <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Point of No Return</i>, is
a successful and charismatic entrepreneur of a family shipping business in the
1920s Guangzhou, China. His struggle in the commercial battle and family crisis
deteriorates his health and finally causes his untimely death. In great pain
and suffering, he never gives up his hope for the family and his love for his
soon-to-be wife, the former housemaid Ng Yuk Hing (Wu Yuqing). The struggle of
Chow seems helpless and desperate to the audience, but he remains optimistic
and enthusiastic even as he lays dying. The last several scenes of Chow Ming Hin
are the tearjerkers for many audiences and Ming Hin remains to be the favorite
character for a lot of his fans. What Chow has suffered in the drama is definitely
a point-of-no-return experience. Damian Lau gives a perfect portrayal of the charming
and sometime stubborn character. Sometimes he speaks the character’s mind so
well that one might think he is the character and forget that he is playing
the role.</font></p><p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4"><br></font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Jing Ke (King Or) from <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">The
Rise of the Great Wall</i> (1986), a character that is drastically different
from Ming Hin, also embarks on a point-of-no-return journey. Jing Ke is one of Damian
Lau’s most well-known characters in his early works. His portrayal of the assassin
of the Warring States is still considered to be the most convincing representation
of the historical figure. Lau instills into the character the spirit of ancient
knight errant that has become rarer in modern Chinese culture. Furthermore, Lau
makes the audience identity with the subtle sentiments hidden in Jing Ke by
showing the humane aspect of the swordsman. The famous scene where Jing Ke says
farewells to the Yan nobles at the riverbank is probably one of the most epic
scenes in the history of Hong Kong TV drama industry. In this scene, Lau successfully
delivers the nobility and resolution of the doomed assassin as he starts his
journey to death. Law has a distinctly artistic temperament that helps him
deliver the tragic character with more depth. In his other works like <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">The Swordsman </i>and <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:
normal">King of Gamblers, </i>Lau also shows his superior ability to play tragic
characters with subtly and nobility, which constitutes his enduring charm over
the last forty years. <br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4"><br></font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Another character that reflects the theme of point of no
return is Mei Ruao, the Chinese judge in <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">Tokyo
Trial </i>(2006). Damian Lau once told an interviewer that he decided to play
the role because the script awoke a patriotic feeling in him. He also admitted
that he found it very difficult at first to play the judge fighting for the
right of China in the court of International Military Tribunal for the Fast
East. Yet Lau once again shows his versatility in portraying different
characters. By focusing on the judge’s insistence of justice and pursuit of righteousness,
Lau successfully captures the essence of the character. His outstanding performance
won him the nominations for Best Actor of both the Golden Rooster and Hundred
Flowers Award, the two most prestigious film awards in China. Like Lau’s other
characters, Mei Ruao expects the Tokyo Trial to be his journey with no point to
return. The judge is determined to commit suicide if the justice cannot be
achieved in the court. Lau not only portrays the character as a judge but also
as a fighter with a strong sense of faith and responsibility. Although the
movie may not be the best representation of the Tokyo trial, Damian Lau
presents to the audience a brilliant interpretation of the judge Mei Ruao. <br></font></p><p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4"><br></font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><font color="DarkSlateBlue" face="Times New Roman" size="4">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Let’s list the different characters Damian Lau has played:
lawyers, teachers, students, the royals, the nobles, knight errands, swordsman,
constables, undercover cops, stock agents, entrepreneurs, womanizers, gabblers,
gangsters, firefighters……. It seems that he never ceases surprising the
audience with the wide range of his performances and his profound understanding
of characters. Most of his characters are put in a situation of desperation in
which he inevitably chooses the hardest path, the path with no point to return.
It seems that the point-of-no-return theme permeates Damian Lau’s characters as
well as his career. Although Lau said that he does not have any desire to
perform, his talent as an actor makes him one of the best performers from Hong
Kong in the last four decades. The irony between his introvert personality and his
true gift of acting may be the reason why Damian Lau describes his successful
career as a tragic one, while the audience and fans praise his years of acting as
a brilliant triumph. </font></p>

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[ Last edited by 小猴 at 2012-10-14 03:24 ]

时光 发表于 2012-10-14 11:08:16

:<5> Although it is difficult to read ,but ialso to say  happy birthday to Damian :<36> :<36>

aznawm 发表于 2012-10-15 12:43:42

Very interesting&nbsp;interpretation&nbsp;of what Damian meant when he said "To be in the acting business is the biggest tragedy in my life." &nbsp;&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>I haven't seen The Rise of the Great Wall so I am not as familiar with the character. &nbsp;Additionally, the US don't teach Chinese history as a part of their general&nbsp;curriculum&nbsp;so I am not&nbsp;familiar&nbsp;with the&nbsp;historical&nbsp;figure. &nbsp; However, I did see the scene you described on this forum (thank you forum!) and I think you did a great job expressing the mood of the&nbsp;scene. &nbsp;I did see the other 2 film/series that you mention and I have to say that Ming Hin is one of my&nbsp;favorite&nbsp;characters as well. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Thank you for sharing this essay! &nbsp;</div><div>Happy Birthday to Damian!</div>

rhett 发表于 2012-10-15 14:07:00

point of no return aslo one of the drama i like . :: :: :: ::
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