As Tears Go By

Watch As Tears Go By

  • NR
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 7.0  (12,047)
  • 67

As Tears Go By, directed by Wong Kar-wai, is a 1988 Hong Kong crime drama film. It was the directorial debut of Wong Kar-wai and stars Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, and Jacky Cheung. The movie begins with a prologue that introduces two of the three main characters. Ah Wah (Andy Lau), a small-time Triad member, is seen in a prison cell. He is about to be released but is warned by the prison warden that a return to his old ways may lead to his death. The warden asks him if he is willing to take such a risk. Ah Wah nods that he is, silently acknowledging the ties that bind him to the Triads.

The scene shifts to Hong Kong's Central district, where Ah Wah's cousin, Fly (Jacky Cheung), is a low-level Triad. Ah Wah soon joins Fly in the district, but it is quickly apparent that he has difficulty suppressing his violent tendencies. He fiercely protects his cousin from rival Triads, but he also lashes out indiscriminately. Fly, on the other hand, is a likable goofball who seems to attract trouble every time he turns a corner.

Enter Ngor (Maggie Cheung), a shy and reserved woman from Mainland China. She is Fly's object of desire, but she and Ah Wah soon form a connection. Ah Wah is drawn to Ngor's calmness and poise, but he also enjoys the challenge of getting her to open up.

As Tears Go By is a slow-burning movie that takes its time to develop its characters. The director doesn't shy away from portraying the nitty-gritty street life of Hong Kong's gangs, but he also takes care to show the humanity of the characters, particularly Ah Wah. The brotherly bond between Ah Wah and Fly is touching, especially as it becomes apparent how much Ah Wah is willing to sacrifice for his cousin's safety.

The soundtrack to the movie is an interesting mix of contemporary Western and Chinese music, including a cover of The Rolling Stones' "As Tears Go By." The music helps to create an atmospheric and moody tone, particularly the mournful saxophone solos that underscore many of the emotional scenes.

One of the most outstanding aspects of As Tears Go By is the cinematography. The movie is a masterclass in how to shoot a city, particularly the neon-soaked streets of Hong Kong. Wong Kar-wai's use of long takes and tracking shots help to create a sense of continuity, as if the camera is a silent observer of the characters' lives.

As Tears Go By is ultimately a story about commitment and sacrifice. The characters are forced to choose between their loyalty to their friends and family and their own desires. Ah Wah's relationship with Ngor is particularly poignant, as he must choose between his love for her and his duty to the Triads.

Overall, As Tears Go By is a compelling crime drama that showcases the talents of its director and actors. It is a movie that takes its time to develop its characters and setting, but the payoff is worth it. The movie is raw and gritty, but it also has moments of tenderness and beauty. As Tears Go By is a must-see for fans of Hong Kong cinema or anyone who enjoys a well-told story.

As Tears Go By is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 67.

As Tears Go By
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (12,047)
  • Metascore